PEORIA/BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — When disaster strikes here at home, or across the nation, American Red Cross volunteers respond with a determination to help.

“I think it’s important to give back,” said Deb Smith, Chair of Bloomington American Red Cross Chapter & Divisional Nurse Leader for the North Central Region. “I love this community (Bloomington). I was born and raised here, and lived away for a while but, I want to give back to the community and its people.”

The organization also prioritizes blood and platelet donations, training in first aid and CPR, plus international work.

For Peorian Daniel Luthi, who’s donated more than 2,000 hours of volunteer work for disaster relief with the Red Cross, he said, “the ability to come into an organization and give back to my community, be there to connect with people… I’m a nurse” said Luthi. “I help people for a living. It just really resonates with my personality and is a thing I really enjoy.”

Bloomington native, Deb Smith, recruits nurses, physicians, and health professionals alike across nine states in the north-central region.

“In the last two weeks, I’ve had contact with one physician and two nurses who have expressed interest in volunteering,” said Smith. “So, I’m forwarding those names right away and hope to get them signed up.”

Both agree that donating their time and expertise helps the region respond to those in need.

“Providing, really, that physical presence as well as double checking that their immediate needs are met,” said Luthi. “That’s just an incredibly gratifying experience to be able to be there and to be able to help.”

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American Red Cross | Central Illinois

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