Meyers man returns from Red Cross assignment
American Red Cross volunteer and South Lake Tahoe resident John Garofalos has recently returned from a three-week disaster relief assignment to the East Coast.
Heavy rain and flooding throughout the east in June forced the evacuation of thousands from homes, apartments, offices and government buildings, washing out highways and bridges, and killing more than a dozen people.
Garofalos was dispatched as a caseworker supervisor to Binghamton, N.Y., where Gov. George Pataki had declared a state of emergency because of flooding on the Susquehanna, Chenango and other rivers. Garofalos worked with an outreach team at a mobile service center, heading out daily to hard- hit areas to assess flood-victim needs. The Red Cross Disaster Station collaborated with officials for the state of New York to answer questions and set up victims’ casework files.
A Meyers resident since 1971, Garofalos retired from casino work in 2004. He’s been a volunteer with the Red Cross since 1997. His first national deployment came Sept. 11, 2001, when he signed up as an outreach caseworker in New York. Subsequently, he served during Hurricanes Frances and Katrina. More locally, he volunteered for the Red Cross DSHR team (Disaster Services Human Resources) at the Waterfall Fire headquarters in Carson City, Nev.
An avid mountain biker and cross country skier, Garofalos encourages anyone to become a Red Cross volunteer. Call the South Lake Tahoe Team of the American Red Cross El Dorado District at (866) 656-9272 or visit http://www.sacsierraredcross.org or http://www.laketahoeredcross.org.