But since 2010, when the couple became Red Cross volunteers, MacLennan has learned to teach from less exotic and far less comfortable locales, like the back of a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV). That was the case last September when MacLennan and Penny spent a couple of weeks in storm-ravaged Baton Rouge, La., and again in October, when he went to North and South Carolina in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. In both cases, working from an ERV, they distributed food to those affected by the storms.
“Our days started at 7:30 a.m., loading the ERV with supplies,” he says. “After a morning meeting we would do a lunch run serving 100 to 200 meals, depending on the area, and then we returned to the ‘yard’ as it’s called to reload for an evening meal run — sometimes to the same area, sometimes not. We were done by 9 p.m.”
MacLennan, who teaches in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, t class work into that already jam-packed schedule. “I normally check in with the class in the very early morning for a half hour for discussion boards and emails,” he says, “then sporadically in the afternoon and then again late at night.”
The resident of Lewes, Del., takes an unassuming attitude toward his volunteer work. “In a disaster response there can be upwards of 500 volunteers in the area doing sheltering, feeding, case work, damage assessment, medical screening and so on,” he says. “My wife and I are just a small part of the overall operation.” WU