When they called, I was ready

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Red Cross workers, Cleve Daugherty and Pam Blum, while in Toledo, Ohio assisting with the water emergency relief operation.

A few years ago, Cleve Daugherty was in need of American Red Cross services after having a house fire.  He was so moved by what the volunteers did for him that he knew he had to be part of it.  A giving and kind person by nature, Cleve and the Red Cross were the perfect fit. Since joining the Red Cross, he has responded to 4 national disaster operations and countless local emergencies in his hometown of Charlestown, West Virginia. Today, Cleve is in Toledo, Ohio as an emergency response vehicle driver, providing community outreach and delivering water to home bound clients in need. Cleve said that there is a parallel between the Northwest Ohio water emergency and his most recent deployment to a chemical spill in Charlestown; in both locations clean drinking and cooking water was at issue. “When they called, I was ready,” said Cleve when asked about why he responded to Ohio.  He said he just loves helping people, whether that is through his role with the American Red Cross or through his ministry. “Everyone has been happy to see us, “which was what he says makes his job special. He loves that the Red Cross helps everybody and doesn’t discriminate based on any criteria.

American Red Cross workers load emergency response vehicles with bottled water before heading into the community to meet with clients. The American Red Cross has been assisting with water delivery in Toledo, Ohio since Saturday.

American Red Cross workers load emergency response vehicles with bottled water before heading into the community to meet with clients. The American Red Cross has been assisting with water delivery in Toledo, Ohio since Saturday.

Cleve’s partner since arriving in Toledo has been Pam Blum from the Greater Columbus Ohio Region. Pam says she’s been on so many national deployments she has a hard time remembering them or when they were.  Since beginning the Northwest Ohio assignment, Pam says they have delivered over 300 cases of water. When asked what has been special about this deployment Pam said it is the, “visually outward display of gratitude everyone has.” She’s seen people cry, smile, and laugh and she has been the receiver of many hugs.

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American Red Cross workers from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia meet before continuing home water delivery and client checkups in Toledo, Ohio.

The American Red Cross is continuing the relief efforts in the Toledo area by distributing emergency preparedness literature. Pam Schwarzkopf, the Mass Care Supervisor on the operation says they will distribute 2,000 preparedness packets throughout the rest of the week. There are 320 American Red Cross workers on the ground in Northwest Ohio supporting this operation.

– This entry was written by Disaster Workforce member Thomas White. 

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