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Partners In Care

By: Johnicia Haynes / Red Cross volunteer


As part of disaster relief efforts, the Red Cross partners with organizations like AmeriCorps to provide crucial services like meals, shelter and emotional and spiritual care along with providing additional community resources for those affected by the tornadoes in Mississippi. Without the team effort and perseverance of volunteers like, Laura Mattimore, our work would not be possible.


Red Crosser, Laura Mattimore, has been a volunteer for 27 years. Deploying out of the Central Ohio Chapter, she graciously volunteered her time to deploy as part of the Mississippi disaster relief efforts. She served as the AmeriCorps liaison and team leader - helping those in need and providing guidance for the Americorps members. Laura and her team focused their efforts in the cities of Amory, Silver City and Rolling Fork, to name a few. “So many people were displaced and affected”, says Laura.


Laura says her job consisted of “going out and connecting with the community”. Laura and her team would go to the hotels to ensure survivors had meals to eat, had registered with for Red Cross and FEMA and health care service resources. Along with providing emergency relief supplies for residents, such as rakes, tarps, work gloves, bleach, and buckets for property clean-up, she noted the continued need for support to those affected by the tornadoes. She shares that when speaking with survivors, they would show her pictures where once entire communities stood and now, they were “completely gone”.


She shares that when speaking with survivors, they would show her pictures where once entire communities stood and now, they were “completely gone”.

Laura adds that her experience was not without challenges but seeing fresh faces ready to serve was rewarding. Understanding that disasters happen more frequently, Laura encouraged the graduating AmeriCorps members to continue to volunteer with the Red Cross once their one-year service was complete because these communities will need support.


Along with our partners, we continue providing much-needed care and support to the thousands of individuals impacted by the March 24 tornadoes in Mississippi. As of this week, there are still 40 shelters open across the state and we’re working with each family or household to help them plan their next steps along their long road to recovery.


The Red Cross truly appreciates the AmeriCorps partnership and generous volunteers like, Laura, and we encourage others to volunteer and serve communities in need too. For more information, please go to: Become a Volunteer. You can make a difference!

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