|Donda King (right) and Ann Fenderson at Forest Grove shelter.
tenure, I was particularly interested in her thoughts about what drives a
successful DAT. Without pause, Donda said, “It’s important to keep DAT members
involved in meaningful ways, to make certain people are engaged in making DAT
responses a success and that they feel that success.” When she was asked what
was particularly difficult about managing DAT’s successfully, she replied without
taking a breath. “Nothing is hard!” Donda says she personally likes the
reception received from first responders when her DAT pulls into a disaster
situation. “They love to see us roll in ready to help.” She says the easiest
way to describe the mission of the DAT is “A group of people who are available
to serve any hour of the day or night, and who are charged with ensuring
disaster clients are alright or help to become alright again.”
Donda currently serves as a team
leader and DAT Coordinator for Douglas County.
She has become a DST instructor for the Oregon Pacific Chapter as
well. This still leaves her time to work
full time and volunteer for the Umpqua Lions Club as first vice-president, and
Sight and Hearing Chair.
Donda credits Jules Stephens for much of her success. “Jules was a senior Red Cross
volunteer who I referred to as ‘Mister Red Cross,’” says Donda. “He was my
mentor for much of my early tenure. He adopted me early on and eventually
received a Lifetime Award for his service. He often just seemed to show up and
would engage me in a tutorial about what was happening, what was needed, and
what role I should play. Having another more senior volunteer provide on-going
guidance really helps build success. I hope I can now offer that to others.”
Our Volunteer Profile series, written by communications volunteer Patrick Wilson, offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the incredible people who help to deliver our mission. We are grateful for their compassion and commitment.