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Canadian Red Cross looking for volunteers

(Source: facebook.com/canadianredcross)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – With people in our province likely to face disasters like fires and floods this year, the Canadian Red Cross is hoping you’ll join its team of volunteers.

Melissa DeMeda with the Red Cross says it’s a great way to give back to the community. “It’s also an opportunity to grow personally, meet a lot of new people, build your skills and self-confidence.”

The Red Cross is looking for help in emergency management.

“With disasters, I feel, happening more frequently … especially in British Columbia — this is a really interesting way to help your community, both locally … and also across the province and sometimes across the country,” she said.

Over the summer, volunteers were helping people who were forced from their homes due to wildfires across the province. The past two years were record-breaking, in terms of the area of land that was scorched by fires.

RELATED: Red Cross launches appeal for donations as wildfires burn across B.C.

“We go in and we help people affected … to access resources within their community, financially. Things like shelter or clothing to get back on their feet after they’ve been evacuated,” she said.

“Even locally, if there’s an apartment fire and they have to be out of their homes, volunteers are there to help people get back on their feet and access resources that they need to recover.”

DeMea adds they are also looking for people to volunteer with the health equipment loan program.

“This is where you can work directly with your community members to loan out different kinds of health equipment to help people recovering from surgery or illness, or to recover at home, or live their last days at home comfortably with their family.”

She tells us volunteering with the group can be a very rewarding experience.

“You’re really working in these communities, you’re talking to people affected. You are seeing firsthand how people lift each other back up and work towards recovery. Having a hand in that is really, really cool.”

Head to the Canadian Red Cross’ website for details on how you can volunteer.

– With files from Ash Kelly