In her 30 years with the American Red Cross, Deb MacDonald has helped numerous people in her community.

“Eventually, we’re going to get to the point where ... we have to depend on each other and ourselves. We just need to take care of each other,” she said. “I enjoy doing Red Cross because it gives me the ability to give back.”

While certification with the nonprofit can sometimes take months, Bob Roberts, disaster services specialist for the Central Texas region of the Red Cross, said residents can attend different classes throughout the weekend to get certified quicker.

The course, which trains volunteers to provide basic, immediate emergency assistance to people following disasters, started Friday and will conclude today at the Melvin Whiteley Training Center.

“It’s their community,” Roberts said. “(Residents) have to look out after their own community. It’s always good to have people who are training and know what they’re doing and what resources are available in their (town).”

Robin King, of Killeen, attended the class because she wants to start volunteering and giving back to the people around her.

“Hurricane season is coming up and I was down in Galveston when it got hit a few years ago and all I did was take photos,” King said. “I’ve never volunteered before and I just feel like there is something I can do.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at

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