Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Volunteer Snapshot: Jeff O'Neil

Jeff O'Neil in Mexico Beach, Florida after Hurricane Michael
Jeff O’Neil remembers walking past his local Red Cross in Huntington, Long Island thousands of times before one day deciding to walk in and learn more. 16 years after that fateful decision, O’Neil has not looked back. From working in a mega shelter for victims of Hurricane Harvey to working with Health Services after a devastating tornado in Joplin, Missouri, O’Neil has dedicated countless hours helping those affected by disasters across the country. Most recently, O’Neil deployed to Florida for two weeks in response to Hurricane Michael. There, he drove an Emergency Response Vehicle and teamed up with a local volunteer fire department to provide warm meals to residents impacted by this historic storm.

When asked what he’s learned from his 16 years with the Red Cross, O’Neil said:

“I have the best feeling that I’ve had in my life when I’m reaching out and helping somebody else…And the Red Cross has given me the opportunity to be on that path, to find those people that need help. Like a lot of the things the Red Cross has done for me, nothing is huge. There’s been no great flash of light; it’s just been little, little things where I can see somebody feel a little bit relieved in a crazy situation. And if I can help be a part of that, it’s the best feeling I’ve ever had.”
O'Neil after the 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado

O'Neil and fellow volunteers in Florida responding to Hurricane Michael

Mexico Beach, Florida

Red Crossers team up with Lanark Volunteer Fire Department after Hurricane Michael


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