KALISPELL — A Kalispell woman recently volunteered in California with the American Red Cross helping families displaced by devastating wildfires.
Kalispell’s Susan Smith, a retired nurse, traveled to Santa Cruz on a week-long deployment and returned on Sept. 1.
Smith worked first-hand with displaced individuals helping families find resources and supplies.
She also worked with a large number of families and their animals including livestock being temporarily housed at the Santa Cruz Fairgrounds.
This was Smith’s first volunteer deployment with the American Red Cross into a disaster-stricken area.
American Red Cross officials said she is one of six Montanans to volunteer with the Red Cross in California this summer since the dangerous wildfires began.
“When you watch the news stories it just sort of tugs at you and you want to do something to help, and a lot of times there is really not much you can do with people that are that far away," Smith said.
"But my involvement with the red cross allows me to do that, to get involved and to help people that otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to,” she added.
Smith said mandated safety restrictions were strongly enforced by red cross volunteers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.