Meet Mike Sewell, a dedicated disaster volunteer whose work ethic is matched by his passion for serving the community. Mike was born and raised in Jefferson County and has lived in Kentucky his whole life. His life changed drastically when a motorcycle accident left him seriously injured and unable to work. “I got to the point to where I was pretty depressed and my doctor said I needed to get out of the house, that’s when I started with the Red Cross,” he said. Mike started out volunteering in the Service to the Armed Forces in 2009, however, his interest shifted to Disaster Services shortly after lending his assistance in a local flood.
As a disaster volunteer, Mike has experienced just about every type of natural disaster. However, there is one case that sticks out to him the most. It was his first deployment on a disaster run, and he was headed to Pikeville, Kentucky to respond to a severe rainstorm. When he arrived at the scene, he was speechless; this particular storm dumped over a foot of rain on the small town, turning valleys into rivers. “I seen a senior citizen standing outside and I went to speak with her, now here’s a lady with her whole life, everything just laying in piles, that really stuck with me, it was at that moment I decided I want to really connect with these people and make a difference in their life,” he said.
At the age of 58, most people would be looking forward to retirement. Mike, on the other hand, has no plans of slowing down. He recently accepted a new title as Volunteer Disaster Program Manager and is currently assembling teams to increase the volunteer base throughout Louisville and the surrounding counties. “Volunteering with the Red Cross for me means being able to be a light in someone’s darkness,” he said.The Red Cross has given Mike a chance to serve as a beacon of hope for those who need it most.
If you would like to join the Red Cross as a volunteer, please visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.