BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- Brentwood based Hope Force International is just one of the mid-state organizations pouring volunteers and resources into Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.
The faith-based charity trains volunteers specifically to work in disaster areas. Karen Ritchey of Franklin is a Hope Force response veteran. Harvey is her tenth deployment for the charity.
“Basically, we’ve been going into neighborhoods and finding those who have maybe been underserved or don’t have family and friends in the area to help them.”
Houston area resident Ms. Yi says she was standing alone in front of her flood damaged home, when a HopeForce crew walked up and asked if she needed help.
“I saw this crew of people walking on the other side. I said ‘Hi, are you here for helping?’ and they said ‘Yes, we’re here.’ And I was kind of like, ‘Oh, my gosh, someone…someone has come to me.’”
The work is exhausting, dirty and dangerous. But Karen Ritchey says it does have its rewards.
“There’s no greater job than to see the relief and just the comfort we bring to somebody who’s desperate at a time like this.
HopeForce has a pool of more than 1300 disaster trained volunteers and deploys them worldwide as needed. The charity will conduct a three day training session for new volunteers in Franklin later this month.
The mid-state chapter of the American Red Cross is also currently conducting disaster volunteer training classes.
Additional Story Resources:
- Would you like to know more about Hope Force disaster training?
- Would you like to see the HFI video featuring Ms. Yi?
- Would you like to know more about Red Cross disaster training?
- Use the link below to listen to the complete interview with HFI's Karen Ritchey.