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Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Kenema, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Makeni, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Port Loko, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Bo, Sierra Leone, West Africa
Sierra Care 2013 Christmas Outreach in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa

Sierra Care Inc. partners with American Red Cross

By Christian F. Sesay Jr., PV Correspondent, Texas.

The importance of community volunteer service was accentuated on Wednesday, 8th April 2009, when Sierra Care Incorporation, a non- profit organization based in Dallas signed an agreement with the Dallas Chapter of the American Red Cross to help during periods of emergency relief. According to the agreement, Sierra Care is designated to function under the American Red Cross banner of “Ready when the time comes” (RWTC) volunteer group.

According to Mr. David Kessebeh, Executive Director, Sierra Care, the purpose of this partnership is to assist the American Red Cross-Dallas Area Chapter in preparing for and responding to major disaster relief operations. In the agreement, a major disaster is defined as an occurrence such as a tornado, storm, flood, high water, earthquake, blizzard, explosion, building collapse, commercial transportation accident, or another situation that causes human suffering or creates human needs that victims cannot alleviate without assistance. In the event of any of these, Sierra Care will be expected to provide relief activities and services to the community as a whole such as sheltering, feeding, bulk distribution of items and information about the availability of these services, as well as recovery information.

In the statement of understanding , the American Red Cross will undertake the following functions:

1. Assist Sierra Care Inc. in recruiting participant volunteers;

2. Provide disaster training, in advance , to those volunteers;

3. Initiate the call for Sierra Care inc. volunteers as needed for a major disaster relief operation;

4. Help manage Sierra Care volunteers in their assigned functions while on assignment;

5. Assign volunteers in areas as close as possible to the areas in which they live or work;

6. Publicly acknowledge Suerra Care Inc. as a RWTC Community Partner in its publicity materials and press.

Sierra Care in return will:

1. Coordinate with the American Red Cross-Dallas Chapter to designate a time and location for the volunteers to be trained;

2. Designate a primary and secondary RWTC Coordinator who will maintain RWTC participant list and to whom requests for volunteers will be made;

3. Respond to request for Sierra Care deployment within(24) twenty-fours and provide available participant volunteers for relief work;

4. Allow Sierra Care volunteers to participate as available in up to two major disaster operations or mock disaster preparedness drills per year.

Due to the signing of this very important partnership agreement, Sierra Care will be partaking in the next Ready when the time come (RWTC) training session which will take place on the 2nd may, 2009 at the American Red Cross office located at 4800 Harry Hines Blvd in Dallas at 8am to 4 pm.

In the words of Mr. Kessebeh, “Unto whom much is given, much is expected” He went on further to explain that Sierra Care is able to assist war amputees in developing countries because residents of Dallas and its surrounding cities made it possible. Therefore, one way that Sierra Care can show its depth of gratitude is by volunteering to assist residents of the Dallas community in the event of a disaster.

The positive leadership of Sierra Care recognizes that the Sierra Leonean community has a need for a wide range of experiences and positive relationships with other organizations to be deemed as productive residents. Community service is important because it teaches us the importance of unselfish giving. Through community service we can learn new skills while becoming more aware of the needs of others, and ultimately gain a stronger sense of community

To this end, Mr Kessebeh is calling on all Sierra Leoneans to volunteer their time and services on Saturday, 2nd May, 2009 during the forth coming training session in ensuring that the partnership started between Sierra Care and the American Red Cross becomes the envy of our community.

Contact information will be accessed through Sierra Care’s website: www.sierracare.org

Photos: David Kessebeh in Sierra Leone.