Fred Sanford

Hundreds of volunteers from all over the country have come to Houston to serve the Red Cross mission, delivering meals, providing shelter and getting needed resources to those affected by the Spring Floods of 2016, the third major flooding event in less than a year. These volunteers give weeks of their time, working long hours and comforting people having some of the worst days of their lives.

It’s easy to get tired, impatient and distressed in such a high-stress environment. Fred Sanford is Chief Morale Officer for this disaster relief operation, and he takes his job very seriously. He will stop volunteers to ask them how they’re doing, if they want to share any stories about their day, and what he can do to make their experience stronger.

“It’s important to take care of yourselves,” Fred announced during a team meeting. “We need to take care of each other.”

So how do you keep up morale when everything is moving so fast and emotions are running high? Keeping a good sense of humor helps as well as remembering to take a step away to breathe when it’s needed. The people who are drawn to volunteering for the Red Cross are very special because of their commitment and passion for others, but even superheroes need support.