Featured Volunteers - Edward and Kate
Apr 08, 2014
For any person in a long-distance relationship, finding a way to connect with your partner can be difficult. For Edward McIntyre, volunteering with the Red Cross has given him a chance to be by his girlfriend’s side, Kate Hoferkamp. With Edward living in Red Deer and Kate living in Cleveland, Ohio, the 3,300 kilometre distance can be hard. The one thing that shortens that distance is the volunteer work they both do with the Red Cross.
When Edward began volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross in 2008, he found a true passion and pride in his work. Much of the work McIntyre did was working with impacted individuals after disasters and emergencies and educating families and individuals about disaster preparedness.“Nothing in the world gives you more pleasure than helping people without expecting anything in return,” says McIntyre. “Red Cross is like a big extended family. I found a real home here."
His enthusiasm was infectious. During one of Kate’s visits to Red Deer in 2011, she joined Edward in volunteering, organizing volunteer files and disaster response supplies. When Kate returned to Ohio, she became an American Red Cross volunteer with the local disaster assistance team. Then came the summer of 2013: Edward and Kate had the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to volunteer together. Early that summer, the couple helped set up two reception centres after wildfires caused evacuations in communities in northern Alberta. Then in June, when flood waters hit many communities across southern Alberta, they were called to action again – together.
“Responding to a disaster can be stressful and you can often feel overwhelmed by the emotions of the people you are trying to assist,” said McIntyre. “I was thankful that this time Kate was by my side.” “We both share our experiences at the end of the day,” he says. “Being a volunteer herself, she understands the commitments. We both support each other and understand the priorities. Red Cross has made us a stronger couple.”