Disaster services volunteer Ray Moody always seems to be on duty. As the lead on American Red Cross’ alpha team, Moody is available from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Monday to Friday and 24 hours a day Saturday and Sunday.
“When we get a call, it’s usually a house fire, and our hotline operator gets a call from the fire department,” he explains. “They call me and see who is in the neighborhood (from American Red Cross) closest to the fire.”
Moody, who has a doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese, is almost always at the scene, along with his crew, making sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
“Once in a while I can’t make it, but that’s very rare,” he says.
He’s asked himself many times why he chooses to go off willingly in the middle of the night to places he’s never been to help people he doesn’t know.
“My answer to that is that somebody needs help, and I can provide that,” says Moody, who is retired from University of Hawaii at Manoa.
He and his team make sure families affected by disaster have a place to stay, clothes to wear and food to eat.
Moody, now 78, also is a Red Cross class instructor. “Working with really smart people is just a joy,” he says. “The people I work with at the Red Cross are super smart.”
In addition to his disaster-preparedness work and teaching, Moody also has worked to open Red Cross shelters.
He first started as a volunteer for Oahu Civil Defense, manning the radios.
“I took one look at the Red Cross and realized they do a lot more. I moved over to the Red Cross,” explains Moody, who has been with Red Cross for more than 10 years.
While most people can’t imagine the rigorous schedule Moody keeps, it’s safe to say he wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“I get to do good stuff and work with really good people,” he says.