A Fire Took Her Home, but Gave This Cajun Navy Volunteer Passion with a Purpose

This CrowdRelief Disaster Helpers Story was created for helper Jamie Bitner. 03/02/2019 7:42 PM

Volunteer: Jamie Bitner
Zello Name: Jbitner3
From: Big Spring, Texas
Disasters worked: Hurricanes Florence and Michael, California Wildfires

I work in Dispatch with Cajun Navy Foundation and CrowdRelief, and I am very pushy. When I first got on Zello, I just jumped in and started helping. I have been here ever since.

I volunteer because I’ve always had a passion to help people. I helped collect and pack donations for Harvey when I lived in North Texas. Then I lost my home to a fire December 30, 2017. We lost everything, and I feel I can relate to people in similar situations. I can calm them and listen to their needs. I don’t want anyone to feel that they are alone or completely helpless. They need to know that’s why I’m here, so that they have someone to guide them through the chaos of their circumstances.

There are so many great memories, from the friends I’ve made to the people we’ve helped; from chicken rescues to helping someone through a storm while they wait for help or food. I think one of the memories that stands out to me is of a lady we talked through the beginning of Michael. She was on the beach in Panama City. We had lost communication with her, and her voice was stuck in my head for weeks. I searched for her, day after day, to see if she had survived. I wasn’t sure she had.

At the moment we had talked to her during Hurricane Michael, she was screaming and homes were being blown away. Finally, I located her a few weeks later. I was so relieved that she had survived. I was overwhelmed when we found her, and the tears flowed. She ended up having to be relocated because of the severity of the damage and because she was without power. I honestly didn't think I was going to find her. It was a miracle. Now whenever someone asks for help, I hear her voice and it keeps me going.  

Jamie Bitner

Hurricane Dorian Disaster Helper
Hurricane Dorian

This person's information has been vetted and approved by the Cajun Navy Foundation.