The American Red Cross relies on volunteers to help serve the community in the event of a disaster. For a St. Johnsbury, VT woman, it was experiencing disaster firsthand that lead her to volunteer her time.

Whether it be a flood, hurricane, fire, or another disaster, the Red Cross is there to help. It’s the volunteers that do the work to make sure there is help.

Erica Fuller, the Senior Volunteer Recruitment Specialist with the Red Cross, enjoys volunteering herself. “It’s a really amazing experience to be able to step in and help people that have been affected by floods, landslides, and make sure that they have a place to stay and a place that they’re safe,” she says.

Helping people stay safe is what Jessica Masten strives to do. She became a Red Cross volunteer in 2021 and has deployed three times since then.

“In 2005, my house burned down, and the Red Cross was the first person there. When you think about losing everything, it’s immeasurable, and they were there with toothbrushes and the basics you don’t really think about. They take these terrible disasters, and they’re there,” Masten notes.

Masten has worked in shelters, and helped people get food.

“I feel like it’s the most amazing thing, everyone should volunteer with the Red Cross, it gives you such a sense of purpose, and it’s so easy,” Masten adds.

Masten hopes to keep volunteering in future years.