Youth receive on-the-job Red Cross relief training

Laurels in the Round Rock Ward, Austin Texas Stake, were eager to receive Red Cross emergency assistance training so they could help if a disaster ever hit their home town.

But after four hours of their eight-hour training course Oct. 17, floods in Texas caused Red Cross officials to cancel the second half of the class. Disappointed the young women were afraid they would not be able to help flood victims, because they had not finished their course.Ann Perry, ward Young Women president, however, was a certified Red Cross nurse and was asked to set up a shelter for flood victims at Travis High School in Austin, and the teens were allowed to go along and help. They set up 100 cots and located blankets and towels.

"It was just us at first, so the Young Women had to learn to do stuff on their own," said Sister Perry. Then people who had been evacuated from their homes started to arrive by bus.

The Young Women began their day at 8 a.m. and were still working that evening at 7 p.m. They talked with victims who were thankful for the things they did not lose - such as their lives and their families.

They entertained young children and played games with some of the adults.

Most important, said Sister Perry, they learned about service and gratitude.

Others noticed the group's hard work. The Young Women, who plan to finish their Red Cross certification as soon as possible, were featured on three major news stations that evening and have plans to volunteer again.

"For the girls, it felt so good to serve," said Sister Perry. " They were worried that they wouldn't get to serve because they were too young. But they served and served and served. These girls acted like adults."

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