Volunteers log long hours - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Volunteers log long hours

September 16, 2005

Albany- In two weeks, more than 193 Red Cross volunteers logged more than 10,000 hours at the Beattie Road Church of Christ. That doesn't include the dozens of church volunteers who stopped by to lend a hand.

"There's a time when you can help and everybody can help in different ways and there's a time when you're the victim and there's a time when you're the helper and this is a time when we could help," said Dr. Craig Smith, Phoebe Medical Director of Infectious Diseases.

That includes dentists, doctors, and nurses who set up a clinic to meet evacuee needs.

"It was something that all of the people in the medical community could do to pull together to help people that were in need," said Diane Daniel, Palmyra Risk Manager R.N.

Phoebe filled prescriptions, free of charge. Doctors and nurses worked their regular shifts only to turn around and see more than 70 evacuees a day.

"My mother and father live in Illinois and my sister lives in Texas and I would like to know that whatever community they're in across this country that there are people that would be looking out for them just as I feel like I've tried to look out for other people's parents and children and spouses," said Cynthia Noe, Phoebe Critical Care Educator R.N.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served daily. More meals than anyone expected. "I heard it was four thousand, that blows my mind," said Debby Sapp, Beattie Road Church of Christ member.

Volunteers who logged all those hours cooking, organizing, and attending to medical needs, look at the experience as time well spent.

"It brought joy to all of our hearts to see people feeling loved, to see them feeling more comfortable to see their pain being lessened to see their stress going away," said Sapp.

"I can't imagine not being involved in this. I'm just so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve," said Noe.

The medical services and meals at the shelter end Saturday. The Red Cross and city will open another center next week where evacuees can go for help.

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