STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — When disaster strikes, the American Red Cross steps in to help those impacted whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, or a fire.
The Red Cross is a symbol of protection and a sign that help is at hand.
It’s a symbol that John and Jane Hoopingarner have worn when responding to disasters across the nation for more than a decade.
“I have just a natural compassion for people and when I see them hurting, and I know I have some skills that can help them recover, and move forward, it pulls me towards them,” said Jane Hoopingarner a volunteer for the American Red Cross of the Poconos.
The pair have deployed countless times as Red Cross volunteers to places like Puerto Rico and British Columbia they recently got back from Hawaii providing recovery efforts following a series of wildfires.
“A lot of times we’re working within a shelter, helping people to find a place to transition to that is more than just a very temporary place. We want them to get into a safe place where they can continue their recovery over a little longer of time,” Hoopingarner added.
John and Jane’s journey with the non-profit started with its disaster action team a group that responds after a tragedy to provide comfort and care for families impacted.
Red Cross officials say they’re currently in need of more volunteers to join the team.
“We’re looking for people who you know want to help in their local community and kind of provide a shoulder to lean on for their neighbors going through a tough time,” says Nicole Roschella the regional communications director for the American Red Cross Greater PA.
No matter what kind of skills you bring to the role the Hoopingarners say there’s a place for everyone to dedicate their time at the Red Cross.
“We desperately need more people to respond to the local fires and we need people that are available, have some time to commit to this, and really want to find a place where they can find great fulfillment in their life,” said Hoopingarner.
“Once you become involved, you’re hooked and you just want to keep on helping people as much as you possibly can,” Hoopingarner continued.
Last year alone the American Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania responded to more than 19 hundred disasters helping nearly 8-thousand people.
If you’d like to volunteer or learn more information you can go to the American Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania website.
Sydney Kostus live at 6:30 a.m.