It’s been a devastating few weeks for wildfires in the Rocky Mountain states, including Idaho.
Firefighters dedicate their lives to saves homes and protect communities, but there are other volunteers with the Red Cross who respond.
Two local women just returned from Colorado and Montana after devoting their vacation time to help others.
Their Red Cross responder phones are a symbol of being ready at a moment’s notice, just as their pins remind Shauna Ringel and Anita Knapp of each devastated area they’ve visited over the past two and a half years.
“It’s a great feeling. It’s a really great feeling,” said Knapp.
“Next to your family, it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done,” said Ringel.
Knapp just spent two weeks helping victims of the Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon fire recover.
She remembers a woman whose home completely burned down getting in contact with her son in Afghanistan through the Red Cross. He eventually got released to be home with her.
“His belongings, his home was gone. Everything was gone,” said Knapp.
Before Ringel deployed to Montana, she created case files for Charlotte fire victims. She’d never seen anything like it.
Ringel and Knapp are just glad they could give back to the people who lost everything.
“You’re there to help them, hug them, shake their hand, and give them hope,” said Ringel.
Ringel and Knapp belong to the district of the Red Cross that covers Madison cCounty and the rest of the upper valley.
Two other volunteers in our region just returned from aiding fire victims in Colorado.
If you would like to join the Red Cross, they are always in need of more than donations. Knapp said volunteers are essential.
Call 800-RED-CROSS to learn more.