HUMBOLDT - Whenever disaster strikes, the Red Cross is on-site to aid in any way it can, from providing food, water, and shelter, to helping with personal expenses until victims get back on their feet.
Marvin Lindemann, of Humboldt, has volunteered with the Red Cross for more than 30 years.
Lindemann's first association with the Red Cross came when he was a boy.
"Every year, a Red Cross representative came to our grade school. By donating a dime, students became official members and received a Red Cross pin, which we all wore proudly," Lindemann said.
As an adult, Lindemann joined the Red Cross Humboldt chapter in the early 1980s.
As a member of the Red Cross board of directors for the Greater Northwest Iowa area, Lindemann helps make decisions on what needs to be done within the local organization and oversees how the money is spent.
In 2004, when Bradgate experienced a damaging tornado, Lindemann was on-site distributing bottled water and needed supplies to the victims for more than a week. Indeed, it's not uncommon for Red Cross volunteers to be away from home for several weeks at a time, depending on the location and severity of the catastrophe, said Lindemann.
That year, the Humboldt Red Cross chapter merged with the Fort Dodge/Brushy Creek region.
"In 2004, the State Chapter of the Red Cross suggested we merge because the small Humboldt office would be closed, so we did," Lindemann said. "Here, we have more resources available to us that we could not afford in Humboldt. Fort Dodge has a Disaster Trailer and an ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle), which we house and maintain, so we're prepared when disaster strikes."
The Fort Dodge Red Cross office also has a training Center, where CPR classes, baby-sitting training for youths, and other safety classes are held monthly.
"Being a part of the Red Cross gives me great satisfaction because we are serving people when they need it most," Lindemann said.
A lifelong resident of the region, Lindemann was born and raised on a farm outside of Humboldt - where he still lives and works today, with his wife, Marilyn.
"My grandfather purchased this farm back in the 1890s and it's been in the family ever since," he said. "My father was only 2 when the family moved here, so it's a century-old operation. It's been a great place for me, and our four children, to grow up."
Contact Linda L. May at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org