Neighbors Helping Neighbors – Disaster Response Team

Annabelle Moore, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas Region

Did you know that each American Red Cross Chapter has specially trained volunteers to help communities recover after a disaster? Anyone can sign up to become a Disaster Action Team volunteer to help neighbors affected by disasters.

Neal Chavez has been a Disaster Action Team member for over 11 years. As a Texas Big Country Chapter volunteer from Abilene, he has responded to seven disaster relief operations. 

For Neal, serving in the American Red Cross “means that I can, hopefully, brighten someone’s day.”

American Red Cross Volunteers (l-r): Neal Chavez and Bill Blagg
Photo Courtesy of Neal Chavez

Disaster Action Team training gives volunteers the skills to support people on the road to recovery after a disaster. Neal has experience in providing meals to communities at American Red Cross shelters. 

It is a role which helps him to “hopefully, make a difference in someone’s day and help someone from going hungry.”

Retired from the newspaper business, Neal enjoys serving his local community and others across the Texas region.

“During [disaster relief] deployments you get to meet many people from around the American Red Cross and the communities that you’re serving,” he said. “Everyone is so passionate about leaning a hand and helping others. It gives me hope.”

Interested in learning how to help a neighbor during their time of need or various ways you can help your community. Click here to learn about the volunteer opportunities available in your area.

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