What skill does a retired journalist have in common with an American Red Cross disaster action team volunteer? This is not a rhetorical question: the two jobs both require you to listen to people carefully and be empathetic to their needs. This is the story about Jim Gallagher, who spent more than 27 years working for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, mainly as a business reporter. “As a reporter you want to get people to open up to you, but that same skill in listening to people certainly helps when you are deployed. In both circumstances, you have to project sympathy,” he said. Both he and his wife have volunteered on a number of deployments. He responded to the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in central Florida last fall. Both helped out with those displaced by the California wildfires and helped ease the transition of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border in 2021. In addition to his Red Cross activities, they also volunteer at a local food bank regularly.
You can read more about Jim and his volunteer activities on the Red Cross blog here.