When Rascal Flatts accepted the Home Depot Humanitarian honor at Sunday’s Academy of Country Music Awards, guitarist Joe Don Rooney gave a shout out to the American Red Cross, which makes humanitarian efforts its primary mission.
Joe Don knows about their work firsthand. His hometown of Picher, Okla., was mutilated by a recent tornado — badly enough that the federal government has decided not to pay to rebuild the mining town, but instead fund the relocation of its survivors. Joe Don travelled back to help out, and he was impressed by the Red Cross’ response.
"Within two hours, they were there — the Tulsa chapter — and they had shelters set up, they had food, they had counseling set up for all the people affected," he told Dial-Global. "I’ve never seen it hands-on like that, so it gave me a whole new outlook. I just love the Red Cross. It’s just amazing what they do, and a lot of it’s voluntary. It’s very humbling to be around those people and see them smiling and trying to lift the spirits of people going through a tragedy like that."
Joe Don and his Rascal Flatts bandmates, Jay DeMarcus and Gary LeVox, are members of the Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet, along with Sara Evans, Pat Green, Amy Grant and Miley Cyrus, among others.