“What keeps me with Red Cross? It’s the clients,” Red Cross volunteer Jeff Murphy said. “Because we are out there on probably the worst day of their lives. . . .and lots of times there was something even worse. It’s that drive you have. . . .you are willing to go out to help, even to another county.”
Jeff is a resident of Clinton County. As the Murphy Advertising Agency, he is an account executive with a company named Halo offering promotional products and apparel. Jeff explains he has a degree in agriculture and was a farmer before he took over this business from his mother.
He began volunteering with Red Cross about 11 years ago when he helped Kelly Robbins, then the Development Director for Clinton and Highland Counties, hold a breakfast for 500 people.
He attended a shelter course, worked on community events, and took Disaster Action Team (DAT) training. It all looked worthwhile and interesting. Jeff is listed as Team Leader for his DAT team and responds with team members to house fires in Clinton, Highland and Adams counties. Jeff has also worked in preparedness education and free smoke alarm installation. He is working to plan an outdoor activity to feature the Red Cross.
Jeff is now a board member for the South Central Ohio Chapter. He is also a blood donor and just made his 117th donation. “I made the connection: the more you understand about blood donation the more you want to give,” he said.
Jeff is very active in the community and works to let community members know the Red Cross is active; there is a need for disaster team volunteers in the three counties; and there are many volunteer opportunities. “I am flabbergasted with the power of OUR TEAM!!! We are very much cross-trained. We will help outside of our three counties as well—we have recently been to Fayette, Greene, and Ross. I am just as concerned for other counties’ need for help as our three,” he said.
With years of experience as a volunteer, Jeff believes mental health and spiritual care are probably our best services in disaster. “Let them know it is going to be a roller coaster, whether you have insurance or you don’t have insurance,” he said. Jeff looks at the long-term process to include all of the support in the community.
“You are there to listen! And hopefully help them be in the right mindset to go on,” he said. “We are here to help you-not only short-term, but long-term. So many people don’t have friends or family who will take them.”
Jeff put his knowledge of machinery to work as he responded to the ice storm in early February. He was asked to prepare the shelter trailer and preposition it to be ready for service. “Two of us out there in the middle of a snowstorm and rainstorm. Went late Tuesday, took two hours to get the ball hitch turned over and fitting. Left and went back to get the trailer with another truck. That’s when it started raining while we were trying to fix the lights. I took the trailer to Hilsboro Midde School,” he reported.
He further explained: “I have practiced sheltering and had training. Lee Ann Pickens was in charge and Debbie Mullins and I worked with her to set up the shelter.” Although no residents needed the shelter, Jeff and the team had it prepared and ready to serve their community members.
“Amazing how we pull it all together and we can accomplish so much more as volunteer friends with common sense and the Red Cross system” Jeff said.
Written by Sandy Shirey.
If you’d like to volunteer with the Red Cross like Cassia, go to redcross.org/volunteertoday to start your journey.