Volunteer: 'Every day I get the opportunity to help somebody'
By Stacy Jacobsonsjacobson@abcnews4.com
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Ray Henderson is a Red Cross volunteer with the heart to lend a helping hand.
ABC News 4 first met Henderson as he was helping a man left homeless by a North Charleston fire last weekend.
"I think the highlight of going to each one of these is we can talk to people and show them there are at least two people who care," he said.
Henderson's helping hand reached out far beyond the Lowcountry in 2013.
"I've been on five deployments [this year]," he said. "I returned to New York for Sandy. That was my second trip. I was in the first group of Red Cross volunteers on Long Island for Sandy back in the beginning of November. I also went to Hattiesburg, Miss., which was also a return trip for me. They had a tornado come through. I went to the flooding in Illinois. Then I went to the big apartment fire in Myrtle Beach when they lost all those apartment units. My last trip was three weeks in Oklahoma vicinity for the tornados there."
At each assignment, he lends his sympathy and an ear.
"You listen to their story. You let them tell your story. No matter how hard it is to listen, that's part of our assignment," he said.
Like in Oklahoma, after tornadoes took out homes, schools and lives.
"They were telling me the story and we were where it happened. Like where a house got blown off its foundation. So it made it very real," he said. "It's just total destruction. It's like you backed a wood chipper up to your yard and put everything through the wood chipper including your grass."
Henderson said volunteering with the Red Cross for work in the Lowcountry and around the country has given him new hope after some difficult times.
"I just vowed I would be as good a person as I could be, to be kind to everybody. When I found the Red Cross- I've been doing this over two years. Every day I get the opportunity to help somebody," he said.
In simple terms, he said it feels good.