The Indiana Region of the American Red Cross would not be able to do what it does for the community without our wonderful volunteers. On this #ThankfulTuesday, we are shining the light on Ken Davenport, who has been volunteering for the American Red Cross – Indiana Region since 2016! He has served our Southwest Chapter in many capacities including Disaster DAT and other programs.
When did you become a volunteer with the Red Cross?
I started my journey with the Red Cross in October 2016.
Why did you become a Red Crosser?
My story started when I was young, dumb, and looking for guidance.
In the fall of 1972, I was only 24 years old, stationed in Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas.
There was a C-130 airplane crash and I was part of the recovery team.
There was a Red Cross ERV at the base of the mount where the airplane crashed. An elderly couple manned the ERV and were already handing out water and snacks when we arrived.
The on scene commander informed us that the state would cut a path up the hillside to the airplane crash site when the recovery crew arrived. We left that evening to go to our hotel.
The following day the road up the mountain was complete when we arrived at the airplane crash site. The Red Cross ERV with the same elderly couple was there.
That same Red Cross ERV and the same elderly couple gave the crew water and snacks for ten days working from early morning to late night.
That is when I said, “That if I get in a position to give back, the Red Cross would be my choice.”
In October 2016, some 44 years later, I was able to honor that pledge when I joined the Southwest Chapter in Evansville. Shortly after my training, I was deployed to Houston for Hurricane Harvey, then to Saint Croix VI for Hurricane Irma. I still believe I have not paid back what I received from that elderly couple in 1972.
What is your favorite aspect of volunteering?
I enjoy the fact that I can provide comfort and a calm moment to someone in need. I appreciate that the Red Cross has taught me how to do my part without prejudice, safely, and on a well-organized and governed platform.
Are you interested in serving during a disaster in your community? Are you interested in other opportunities including Services to Armed Forces and International Services? We need more volunteers like you! To learn more and to apply to become a volunteer today – click here.