Red Cross recruiting volunteers to go to hurricane affected areas

TOLEDO, OH (WNWO) – In the midst of tragedy, there are always people ready to help. And that is certainly the case right here in Toledo.

The past few Thursdays, the American Red Cross has been holding recruitment classes. The goal is to train the volunteers, and then dispatch them to hurricane affected areas.

Both Texas and Florida have declared states of emergency.

One of the volunteers, Jodi Frank, said, “I just can’t fathom. You know, people losing their homes. Losing loved ones.”

That’s why Frank was one of approximately 50 people to attend the American Red Cross’s class on Thursday. A similar number also attended the class the week before.

Diane S. Dixon, Interim Regional Volunteer Services Officer for the Red Cross, shared, “we live in an awesome community where everyone steps up, whether it’s here or somewhere else in the country. They’re very compassionate, and they give the gift of time.”

The volunteers sat through an introductory class where they were briefed on the structure and mission of the organization. Then they return on this weekend to learn more specific skills, such as bulk distribution, damage assessment, and logistics. From there, the volunteers are ready for their deployment.

“With all of the new folks going out, there is going to be a lot of new folks learning their way,” said Dixon. “But were working very careful to get our volunteers set up for the proper culture to go out and to work.”

And the volunteers have all shown up ready to help. People from all walks of life ready to donate their time and energy.

Houston L. Hines says, for him, volunteering runs in the family.

“They are always dedicated to volunteering in their communities. So that’s what inspired me and gave me the power to want to do the things they did and follow in their footsteps,” he explained.

And with a name like “Houston,” he couldn’t help feeling it was a bit personal

“It kind of gave me the notion that the Lord was trying to give me a little tug,” he added.

As for Jodi, she has volunteered before, and is drawing from that experience to help again.

“I had volunteered for Katrina 12 years ago,” she said. “Was in New Orleans for 12 to 14 days. And it was such a rewarding experience, so that’s why I wanted to try my hand again at this.”

Now the Red Cross say this sort of damage can take months of work. Potentially up through the holiday season. So they need all the help they can get. If you want to pitch in, contact them at 419-329-2900.

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