Local wellness nurse inspired by mudslide relief volunteers




Posted on March 29, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 29 at 5:40 PM

SPOKANE, Wash—After a devastating mudslide in western Washington, a Spokane woman travelled to Red Cross headquarters in Marysville to help care for 200 volunteers working on relief efforts.

Volunteer, Donna Wheeler, said it was her job as a wellness nurse to help keep other volunteers going.

“Our volunteers and staff are very important,” Wheeler said. “We want to keep them healthy so we really want to take care of them. They’re no good to anybody else if they’re not in good shape.”

One week after the mudslide, volunteers held a moment of silence for the victims.

 Wheeler said the energy spent on relief efforts was exhausting for those volunteers. She spent the week making sure they drank enough water and got plenty of rest.

“It’s just a difficult time,” Wheeler said. “It’s physically and emotionally compromising for them.”

Though she had to help some volunteers manage stress, Wheeler said she did not have to send anyone home since she arrived on Tuesday.

Many of the volunteers who left home to help were an inspiration for Wheeler. She called them super heroes.

“They’re still so upbeat,” she said. “They’re so ready to keep going. They just love what they’re doing.”