Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have left tens of thousands of people in emergency shelters after being forced out of their own homes. As people begin their recovery from Hurricane Harvey, those affected by Hurricane Irma are just starting that process. The American Red Cross is providing food, shelter and comfort to those who were affected by the devastating storm and the Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois is playing an important role in that by deploying local volunteers to support the relief efforts.
Steve Wise, Red Cross volunteer in Houston, Texas says, “You see a lot of sad faces of people coming in [to the shelter]. They’ve lost everything. People had to rush out of their house right away. We’ve done everything we can to make this a home for them.”
Volunteer Jim Connelly is on his 24th deployment as a Red Cross volunteer. It’s people like Jim, who leave their homes and families for extended period of time, who make the Red Cross response possible.
Susanne Peters, Red Cross volunteer in Dallas says, “I like helping people … this is their darkest hour … we’re a beacon to them. We’re a safe place to go, a place to lay your head and take in what’s happening. We are here to take care of them.”
“They know they have help coming. They know they’re not on their own and they know they’ll get better,” said Mike Landt, a former Americorps volunteer who deployed to Orlando to provide mass care.
This response will continue for months to come as people establish long-term recovery plans with the help of Red Cross caseworkers, most of whom are volunteers themselves.
Are you interested in volunteering for the Red Cross? Visit RedCross.org to apply!
You can help the Red Cross support people affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma by visiting redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.