Red Cross volunteer returns home after two-week deployment to Louisiana

Red Cross volunteer Dave Snetsinger (right) serving food at the River Center shelter in Baton Rouge, LA. Photo courtesy of Dave Snetsinger.

Dave Snetsinger, of Naytahwaush, Minnesota, returned home on September 6 after a two-week deployment assisting with flood recovery in southern Louisiana.

Snetsinger was stationed at the Baton Rouge River Center and was one of eight Red Cross volunteers from the Northern Minnesota Chapter.

The volunteers focused on the immediate needs. The group mostly worked in shelters, ensuring displaced people had adequate housing. Other volunteers helped feed people and focused on medical needs. As a part the feeding group, Snetsinger worked 12-hour shifts that started at 7 a.m. On August 28, he helped serve lunch for 900 shelter residents.

Snetsinger, a White Earth enrollee, has been a Red Cross volunteer for more than 20 years, and now that he’s retired he will continue to volunteer to go out on national disasters to help others. Over the years as a local volunteer firefighter, he has responded to home fires throughout Mahnomen County and on tribal lands.

The northern office of the American Red Cross will be starting a volunteer recruitment drive in your area and are looking for people willing to help those who are displaced locally due to emergencies. With training and experience a Red Cross Volunteer can be deployed throughout the country to help. All training is free and much of it is online. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer or have questions, please contact Tony Guerra at (218) 722-0071 or tony.guerra@redcross.org.

Volunteers are the heart of the Red Cross. Nearly 4,000 volunteers support the Red Cross in Minnesota. They contribute a varying number of hours – from very infrequently to nearly full-time. Volunteers are needed for a variety of response roles, including those who respond in-person, those who coordinate efforts behind-the-scenes, those who provide their medical expertise, those who provide their mental health expertise, and those who provide their public affairs expertise.

This story originally appeared in Anishinaabeg Today, the monthly chronicle of the White Earth Nation, and is published on this blog with permission. Click here to learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer. 

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