March 11, 2009
Michael Fuhrman’s first words to the Red Cross were "I’m here to help" and for three years Michael has yet to fall short of his promise.
In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina victims from the Gulf Coast were sent to Dallas area shelters, Michael and his wife arrived at the Dallas Convention Center with one thing to say, "we’re here to help."
At the convention center Michael completed on-site training to assist the medical staff. "I had a 30-minute basic overview of the Red Cross and then I was put in charge of 15-20 volunteers," said Michael.
A few years later, Michael had another opportunity to serve the Red Cross. His company, EDS, became a "Ready When The Time Comes" partner. The "Ready When The Time Comes" program allows local companies to partner with the Red Cross to assist with large-scale disaster relief operations. Company employees receive Red Cross training and serve as reserve volunteers. In addition, Michael serves on the Dallas West Disaster Action Team (DAT). Michael enjoys serving on DAT because it allows him to have an immediate impact on other people’s lives on a regular basis. "We arrive on the scene and we are able to help those affected by a disaster make sense of what is going on and begin a transition, which is really important during that time," said Michael.
Along with volunteering, Michael works to get others involved in the Red Cross through speaking engagements at EDS and by telling his story to others. "Anyone who knows me knows what I am involved in. They know when that truck is parked outside our house that I am involved with the Red Cross," said Michael.
Michael’s only words used to define the combination of 18 months of training, volunteer experience, and speaking engagements are words of action, "volunteer with the Red Cross."