Thursday, June 25, 2015

Meet John Dowd

Volunteer John Dowd of Auburn recently returned from Oklahoma, one of over a dozen Western and Central NY volunteers who have deployed in the past month to help in Red Cross relief efforts following severe weather across the country. The public affairs team in Oklahoma caught up with John on his last day with the operation:

John Dowd on assignment in Oklahoma
ARDMORE, OK June 19, 2015 -- Standing in the doorway of the Ardmore Red Cross office, John Dowd extends his hand and offers a warm welcome to fellow Red Crossers walking through the front door.

"Hello there, I'm John.  Nice to meet you. Welcome!" His blue eyes beaming sincerely smiling.

John is a caseworker for the Red Cross.

After Tropical Storm Bill, John accepted the opportunity to deploy.  Accepted the challenge of uprooting his life, putting his personal affairs on pause.  He accepted the challenge to help those suffering in Oklahoma.

One community impacted, Ardmore. He's responded and assisted families who were hit hard by the heavy rain the damaging flood waters.

Two weeks.

Fourteen days.

Today he's heading back.  Today he's going home to New York. Syracuse.

"I guess...I feel a connection with Oklahoma now.  I'm going to go home, but Oklahoma will always be with me.  We gave them a little hope I think," he said, removing his Red Cross hat as he wiped his brow.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my dog again," he continued, taking out his phone, flipping through photos of a delighted Beagle.

What makes the Red Cross one of the world's most prestigious non-profits is its ability to respond to disasters. Its ability to mobilize volunteers at a moment's notice.  John exemplifies that power -- a volunteer from New York responding to assist those suffering.

There are countless volunteers like John making a difference helping those impacted by disasters stand on their feet again.

For more on the Red Cross response to recent storms, visit To learn how you can help by becoming a Red Cross volunteer, visit

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