Thousands of dollars are pouring into to local chapters of the American Red Cross and Salvation Army…but both organizations could use volunteers. The Lee County Red Cross has already sent 10 of its volunteers to Mississippi. Before they can start helping – all volunteers must be trained...a process that’s being expedited because the need is so great. In the case of the Red Cross – interested people should go to the local chapter’s office to apply, and be interviewed. Training lasts about a week. Executive Director of the Lee County Chapter of the American Red Cross - Heidi Ruster says strong bodies and hands are what’s needed right away.
“People to help out in the shelters and to help feed the individuals is where the largest need is – that’s a skill we can teach pretty easily. In future months we’ll need more specialties…we have sent some individuals out with mental health backgrounds and health backgrounds, and also some people who have some degree of expertise in logistics and getting supplies out, and that sort of thing. But right now mass care and getting some people out there to assist is what we need.”
The Salvation Army is also seeking volunteers. That training can be completed in 3 or 4 days.
Volunteers won’t necessarily be dispatched to scenes of destruction… local chapters must also remain prepared in case another hurricane hits south Florida. Both organizations say flexibility is the key word for any and all potential volunteers.
Friday, 02 September 2005 01:00