Red cross volunteer prepares to aid in tornado recovery

CREATED Apr 30, 2014

  • Print
  • Play

MILWAUKEE -- A disaster supervisor from our local Red Cross has been called upon to help with the recovery efforts in the south.

For the communities affected by recent severe storms, the Red Cross connects them with the resources they need to get back on their feet. Wednesday, a volunteer from right here in Milwaukee, is making her way to one of the disaster zones.

A violent tornado engulfed neighborhoods in Kansas Sunday. Emergency officials said more than 30 people were hurt and 70 homes destroyed. Army veteran and Red Cross volunteer Phyllis Wiggins loaded up for Baxter Springs - determined to offer relief.

"I do it because for me, it's the first meaningful thing I've ever done since I've left the military," Wiggins said.

This isn't Wiggins’ first disaster relief mission. She knows, going in, that the people she's helping have a long road ahead of them - one they'll have to take one day at a time.

“Most people don't think about it. Yes, if you lose your home, but if you're a farmer, you may lose all your animals. If you're a doctor, you may lose the building where your practice is. You may even lose a few of your patients," Wiggins said.

She was on stand-by when she heard the tornado hit. She jumped into high gear when she got the call to serve. While she's excited, she's also grateful.

"I’m grateful that I’m in the position to make a difference in someone else's life when they really need me," Wiggins said.

She would also encourage more people to volunteer.

"It's a joy you really cannot even explain to people. This is something - when you go out, you're doing pure good. You’re only contributing to the good. People come and they really need you, and they're really glad to see you," Wiggins said.

She said it wasn't an easy transition back home after she left the military. But her work with the Red Cross really makes her feel like she's giving back to society.