Story by Pauline Jelinek, photo by Jill Bode for the American Red Cross
After 25 years of volunteering for one good cause after another, Bibi Sheonarine this month got on board with the American Red Cross. “Thank God I did it! I’ve done everything here,” she said of her experience helping people in a shelter after Hurricane Irma. Bibi has been busy registering people when they arrive at the shelter in Estero, Florida, answering their questions and directing them to whatever type of assistance they need.
Though a Red Cross volunteer from San Bernardino, California for a mere two weeks before deploying to Florida, she’s no stranger to helping others. She’s volunteered since 1992 on issues including cancer, mammogram screening and food pantries. With her own money and the help of a few friends, she’s sewn 722 dresses that she and her husband will deliver to orphans next month along with T-shirts, sandals and so on.
“We will take them all over, to the Caribbean and two countries in South America to meet the orphans, feed them and give them all the goodies we made for them,” she said.
Of her short time with the Red Cross, Bibi said: “I think when mother nature is at its worst, human nature is at its best. Everyone at Red Cross pitched in like a tight-knit family, helping each other and the clients. It’s just priceless! Literally!”