Volunteering, for Michael Lee Jackson, is a way of paying back the kindness he received as a 3-year-old child. So, for the past two years, he’s assisted others through the organization that came to his aid roughly three decades ago – the American Red Cross.
“As a child, I was affected by a house fire on Christmas Day at the age of 3, and the American Red Cross assisted my family,” he said. “It helped us get back on our feet, so I wanted to be able to help others.”
In 2015 alone, the American Red Cross offered relief efforts following 176 large disasters. Through those efforts, organization volunteers facilitated 34,000 overnight accommodations for displaced people, distributed 1.1 million snacks or meals, disseminated 800,000 relief items, and installed 195,000 home smoke alarms. They’ve also helped prepare 268,000 youths for the signs and dangers of home fires, and they’ve helped 214,000 individuals recover from home fires that do occur.
According to Jackson, he volunteers in almost every capacity, working to provide food, shelter, and comfort to families and individuals who have lost their homes and belongings through major disasters, including house fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.
His main efforts support the work done by local and state organizations as they prepare, respond, mitigate, and begin disaster recovery strategies.
“I work with families affected by major disasters so they have a safe place to stay and a plan for moving forward after the disasters,” he said.
If you’re interested in finding opportunities to engage in your community through service, please check out All for Good for projects near you!