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Dedicated volunteers make the difference for Red Cross

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Dedicated volunteers make the difference for Red Cross

By Carole Meekins. CREATED May 22, 2014

The American Red Cross in Southeastern Wisconsin provides critical services to more than 2 million people in 8 counties.

Relief would not be possible without trained volunteers. Judy Kuhlmann and Bob Wade are members of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team. They know what victims need in the face of crisis.

Wade works through the night helping fire victims. He once went on 7 fire calls in one night. Wade explains, "You get the call in the middle of the night and you realize somebody is in trouble, you hope somebody would do the same for you if you were in that position."

Wade has been volunteering in 2009. He says he is wired for the job. Wade notes, "The more I do this job, the more I love it. No two calls are the same. You never get sick of helping people."

Kuhlmann has served on 27 national deployments including 9/11, and Hurricane Sandy. She wants victims to know they are not alone.

Kuhlmann says, "I always tell them I wont leave until you know and I know what's going to happen next." Kuhlmann stresses that the Red Cross needs our support. "The mission is helping. We do not get any federal money. We have to rely on the American people's generosity." 

Both say reaching out during tough times is a lesson in humanity. Wade says, "I cant believe how resilient people are and how much they help each other."
 
Bob Wade and Judy Kuhlmann are unsung superstars. They are reminders that we are lucky to have Red Cross Volunteers committed to caring, and easing the pain of those whose lives have been turned upside down.
 
Wade exclaims, "There's no feeling like  it. There's no amount of money  you can pay someone for the feeling you get driving home from a fire, after you know you've helped somebody."
Carole Meekins

Carole Meekins

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Carole Meekins is the longest tenured 10:00pm anchor in the Milwaukee market. She has been at TODAY'S TMJ4 since November of 1991.