Tahlequah, Okla. — Having helped approximately 40 families recover from house fires this year, Northeastern State University student Scott Youngblood was the recipient of the Tulsa Area Chapter Disaster Action Team Volunteer of the Year Award during the annual American Red Cross volunteer appreciation dinner.
Youngblood assists disaster response in Cherokee and Adair counties and “wherever else I am needed.” He often provides house fire or natural disaster victims with shelter and clean clothing.
While Youngblood expressed gratitude for the recognition, he stressed that awards are not his motivation.
“I volunteer and help others in time of need because I believe that is what we should do,” he said. “If someone’s home burns down or they survive a tornado they need help. Sometimes they just need someone who cares to listen to them.”
A native of Riverton, Kan., Youngblood is attending NSU in pursuit of a homeland security degree with an emergency management emphasis. An eight-year veteran of an artillery unit of the U.S. Marine Corps, he now works with associate registrar Paula Page in NSU Veterans Services.
“She is an inspiration to me when I see the care she has for our students, veteran and non-veteran,” Youngblood said. “She does all she can to find a solution to any problem a student may have.”
The Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross encompasses 18 counties and hundreds of volunteers in northeastern Oklahoma. Youngblood was chosen from several hundred compassionate citizens for the volunteer of the year award. He said lending assistance to those in need is a reward in itself.
“You see the smiles of a family or the relief in a father’s face when you hand them a debit card carrying a few hundred dollars,” he said. “It lifts the immediate burden of finding a place to sleep and be comfortable while they work through the issues of rebuilding or what to do next. Probably my favorite part is the hugs and handshakes I get.”
Youngblood cites the Scotland, Ark., tornado of March 2010, when he was out doing damage assessment. He was checking a front yard when an elderly woman exited the house. After about a half-hour of discussion he told her he needed to check on her neighbors.
“I asked several times if there was anything we could do for her,” he said. “As I turned to leave, she said she just needed a hug. It made my day.”
For more information about the Tulsa Area Chapter of the American Red Cross visit: http://www.tulsaredcross.org/redcross/default.asp
Published: 6/9/2011 8:29:14 AM