The Woodward News

April 13, 2014

Red Cross recognizes local volunteer

Rachael Van Horn
Woodward News

— When Karen Daily, Red Cross volunteer and owner of Western Medical & Drug, gets up in the morning, it is with the purpose and understanding that she may need to offer some of her time to her community.

“I just enjoy going where something is going on and helping people,” Daily said. “It is a good feeling.”

Northwest Oklahoma Red Cross Chapter in Woodward wants to highlight Daily and the work she does for Red Cross, says Red Cross Director of Communications, Ken Garcia. The recognition program was part of the recent National Volunteer Week.

“Over the last year, in addition to being a local Disaster Action Team (DAT) Leader in the Woodward area, Karen Daily has deployed four times on major national disaster relief operations, including two deployments with super storm Sandy and the May 2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes,” Garcia said. “She worked in multiple capacities depending on the needs at the time such as sheltering, client casework, and recovery planning and assistance.”

According to Daily, the work she does, while it does requires she commit time, is enjoyable and allows her to meet people and learn from people all over the United States.

 She decided to help area disaster director Gordon Burgess reach his goal of creating one DAT for each area county.

 Daily created the DAT team for Dewey County, which is comprised of seven volunteer members. There is still a need for more volunteers to fill out other county teams, she said.  

 The Dewey County DAT responded last week to a large grass fire near Webb where they provided water, Gatorade and meals to 150 firefighters, Garcia said.

 The team trains and works together and responds as a team to emergencies.

 “It’s not hard,” Daily said. “I don’t’ spend a lot of time - an hour, some training time -  and we have meetings once a month. I spend time trying to get them all to the training they need.”

Volunteers for Red Cross have numerous opportunities to gain their training with various times and locations where it is offered, Daily said.

But she does remind potential volunteers, there is a need for people who have some time free to offer.

 While it doesn't have to be a lot of time, volunteers need to remember they have to be willing to offer some time to the process. So she asks that those considering the prospect also take a realistic look at their schedules and plan to spend at least two or three hours a months in that endeavor.

“If you want to be a volunteer, you have to be willing to donate some time,” she said.

According to Burgess, in an earlier interview regarding volunteering at Red Cross, there is something for everyone at Red Cross. If all you can do is pass out bottled water, he noted, that is volunteering.

For Daily, volunteering may mean being on a disaster location or it may mean donating other skills or material good, she said.

According to Garcia, she has even donated the use of storage space in her warehouses to the American Red Cross when it was needed recently.

To become a volunteer like Karen Daily, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.