By Michael Shipley, American Red Cross Volunteer
(Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays written by volunteers for the American Red Cross in the Northeast Ohio Region)
Hello. My name is Michael Shipley and I am a Red Cross volunteer. My Red Cross story is probably typical.
I was a working trucker for eighteen years, and logged approximately 1.8 million miles. Then I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I suffered a major “attack” and lost the use of my legs for three months, which ended my career as a trucker.
I was at an MS walk and met a lady who actively recruited me to volunteer for the American Red Cross. I went to a meeting and signed up that day.
I am a Disaster Services volunteer. I started with casework, meaning I helped people who experienced a disaster by introducing them to the services offered by the Red Cross, including initial financial assistance, mental health services, and community referrals to help them with their recovery. After about nine months of case work I decided to start doing logistics and I absolutely love it!
I take care of logistics for the Red Cross in seven counties and three offices. I have met some really great folks and been on five deployments in one year! I stay busy and I am very happy to find an organization that lets me be me.
(Michael Shipley has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for nearly three years. He is a resident of Mansfield, and serves residents in the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter.)
To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross, or to begin an application, visit our volunteer page or call 216-431-3328. To help the Red Cross train volunteers and provide them with the resources needed to assist people who experience disasters, big and small, visit our Giving Day page.