CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - There has been as many as three dozen disasters in as little as three months. Red Cross workers say this storm season has been one of the busiest the organization has ever seen.
"The more operations I'm a part of the more I realize what the Red Cross does," said volunteer Maggi Makins. Makins just returned from Joplin.
"When I had gotten to Joplin I saw a report from the Red Cross that started from mid March to the middle of May they had already responded to 31 disasters," said Makins.
Makins most recently volunteered when flooding hit Morehouse and then went to Joplin. Despite Mother Nature's fury during the spring, Makins says the organization is preparing for what could be a brutal hurricane season.
"Right now knowing that there's so many storms and so many disasters going on the volunteers are getting stretched pretty thin," said Makins. Newer volunteers like nurse, Sharon Essner not only teaches CPR classes, she responds to medical needs during local disasters. She says the need for volunteers only grows.
"We put in twelve hour days sometimes," said Essner. "We need all the help we can get."
Essner is inspired by her grandmother, Loretta Schmidt who was a Red Cross volunteer during World War II.
"It connects me,' said Essner.
Essner remembers what if felt like the first time she was able to help someone as a Red Cross Volunteer.
"She grabbed my hand and she had big tears in her eyes," said Essner. "It just was amazing just to be able to say I can help you with that part. I can't make your whole life better, I can't undo the tornado but I can do this part to help get your life back to where you want it to be."
The organizations needs volunteers and donations.
"I know that more than 90 cents of every dollar is going directly for aid not administrative costs," said Essner.
Essner says with one storm after another you never know when you might find yourself in need of help and she encourages everyone to give.
"Pay it forward," said Essner.
The Red Cross and United Way will benefit from a concert for storm victims in Southeast Missouri and Joplin. It's called "Shelter from the storm: Party with a Purpose."
The benefit will be this Friday and Saturday night at Mixing 10 in downtown Cape Girardeau.
Money raised will be split between the two charities.