Red Cross Seeks Local Volunteers

Disaster Action Team members needed in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties
Red Cross volunteer Kerri Foley sorts items for individuals impacted by a recent fire in Lakewood.
Red Cross volunteer Kerri Foley sorts items for individuals impacted by a recent fire in Lakewood.

When a fire in a Lakewood apartment complex on 110th Street impacted several units last week, the local chapter of the American Red Cross mobilized immediately to provide help and hope to displaced residents. Red Cross volunteers worked with individuals and families to provide assistance and support them in recovery. An overnight shelter was also made available, providing a safe place to stay, meals, comfort items and community resources.

These services are made possible by members of the Pierce County community like Kerri Foley, a local volunteer looking for a way to give back to her community with her free time. Foley has been with the Red Cross for about three years, serving as a Disaster Action Team volunteer.

“I like to help people,” she said as she unloaded cots and comfort items for those impacted by the recent apartment fire and staying overnight in the Red Cross shelter. “This is just my way of giving back.”

Every day, individuals and families are forced from their homes due to disasters. The Red Cross needs more people in Pierce, Thurston and Kitsap counties to join the Red Cross as Disaster Action Team volunteers and help local families cope with these emergencies.

Compassionate and committed Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers respond day and night to meet the immediate needs of their neighbors. Most often, they are called to respond to single and multifamily fires that threaten lives, destroy property and displace entire families. While the work can be emotional and challenging, it is also deeply rewarding because the volunteers offer support and assistance to someone in one of their darkest moments.

DAT volunteers provide help such as emotional support, replacement prescription medication, financial assistance for food, clothing and temporary lodging, and other critically needed items or referrals.

As DAT members, volunteers can grow into leadership roles, learn more about emergency management and interface with fire department and other emergency officials as well as other community partners.

All required training is provided by the Red Cross free of charge, and all new members are paired with an experienced volunteer to provide guidance.

To help your community by responding to disasters with the Red Cross, visit or get started at

The Red Cross is committed to diversity and inclusion. The organization strives to create and maintain a diverse workforce that helps to ensure our cultural competence when serving all communities.

About The American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit or