For most people, a call in the middle of the night can be terrifying, but for Linda Crippin when that phone rings, she knows it's a call to do the Lord's work.

Crippin serves as a Red Cross volunteer and she said when she gets that crisis call at any time of the day, "I feel it's an opportunity for me to share the love of the Lord that's in me -- my Christian faith gives me the willingness and desire to serve others."

The 64-year-old Brentwood resident said that after retiring in 2006, both she and her husband, Dave Crippin, became Red Cross volunteers. Linda also now works as an application placement specialist assisting new employees, volunteers and missionaries for Wycliffe Bible Translators.

"We saw so many natural disasters happening and we wanted to be available to help," Crippin said. "Getting involved with the Red Cross was a way for us to be actively involved."

While Crippin said that ministering to people is rewarding work, she said it can be very distressful as well.

One of the hardest disasters she has been deployed to was in May to Moore, Okla., after a series of tornadoes wreaked havoc on the state.

"To know that there were actually people who died," she said was difficult, but even more heartbreaking was to see the memorial at Plaza Towers Elementary School for the seven children who died.

"I arrived a few weeks after the disaster first occurred," Crippin said. "There were T-shirts, teddy bears, plaques and memorabilia all over the school ... it was hard to see that, to know that they were little innocent children who lost their lives."

Crippin said that for blocks around the school, homes were completely destroyed, most down to their foundations. For some, piles of sticks were the only evidence that a house once stood in the aftermath of the tornado.

"In some cases, the whole fronts of the houses were ripped (off)," said Crippin. "You could still see clothes hanging in closets ... cars had been tossed around.

"And the ones that are still here, (they) have lived through that and have the memory of what they experienced," she said. "They'll have to deal with that the rest of their lives."

It's helping to give some sort of sense to those who have lost, whether it is helping them find shelter, providing them with financial resources or helping with medical issues -- that is what Crippin and her fellow Red Cross workers dedicate their time to.

Crippin's volunteer work is in family services and she is part of the Disaster Action Team (DAT), but those are just two of the many Red Cross volunteer opportunities available.

In Oklahoma, Crippin's two weeks of volunteer time was spent in family services, which meant processing claims and administering funds to those who were in need.

For the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash last month, it meant providing breakfast out on the SFO tarmac to federal investigators.

Crippin explained that while both she and Dave have signed up to deploy to national disasters, typically the most common thing they respond to is local emergencies.

"If there is a fire in the middle of the night and I'm on DAT that night, they're going to call and we're (Dave and I) going to respond," she said.

"And just knowing that I'm doing what I was intended to do is satisfying to me ... to be able to go and minister to people that were in such need," Crippin said.

She was very clear though, she said, "It's not about me -- it's about the Red Cross and what they do for people -- they're available in people's time of need."

For more information about the different Bay Area volunteer opportunities available with the Red Cross, log onto www.redcross.org/ca/san-francisco/volunteer.