Carrie Odegard is in Harlingen, Texas, more than 1,600 miles away from her hometown in Shelly, Minnesota.

Odegard became a volunteer about five years ago, and she feels helping people in times of disaster is incredibly important.

Odegard understands what it means to need the Red Cross because in 1997 she was affected by severe flooding in Minnesota. More than fifty percent of 87 counties were declared a federal disaster area. 

Seeing Red Cross volunteers selflessly provide her community with comfort and needed resources, Odegard knew that this was an organization she wanted to be a part of.

Last month as historic winter storms ravaged the south, Odegard came to an easy decision.  

“I saw there was a real need in Texas, and I chose to come to South Texas because about thirty years ago it was my home. I wanted to come back and support the community where I once resided.”

Story and photos by Red Cross contributor Juanita Casanova