Scott High School Graduates Deploying with the Red Cross to Provide Oklahoma Tornado Relief.
Long-time Toledo residents deploying for twelfth time.
American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio disaster volunteers Pearlia and Lawrence Kynard are traveling to Shawnee, Oklahoma on Saturday, May 25, 2013, to help assist people affected by the recent tornado disaster. Upon their arrival, they will receive the location where they will be assigned during their deployment time. The Kynards will assess client needs, connect them with available resources like clothing and food, and answer any questions they may have. Client caseworkers like the Kynards will often also connect clients with lost items such as eye glasses, medications, dentures, artificial limbs, diabetic supplies, and much more. Over the next few days, these needs may evolve to include family reunification, funeral assistance, emergency needs, and recovery planning.
“We’re happy to show our support to people who have experienced this terrible disaster,” said Pearlia Kynard. “We’re concerned for their wellbeing and want to comfort them in any way we can.”
The Kynards have been volunteers with the American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio since 2006. They have been deployed as experienced Red Cross case workers on a dozen disasters all over the country including Hurricane Katrina in 2006 and the Tuscaloosa, Mississippi tornadoes in 2011. The Kynards serve locally as Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer leaders. These long term residents are graduates of Jesop W. Scott High School. Pearlia also graduated from the University of Toledo.
“I believe in what the Red Cross does and their efforts to help people around the world,” said Kynard, “It takes more than just management. It takes volunteers – people willing to help out by dedicating their time and service.”
More than 350 Red Cross disaster workers in Oklahoma are supporting shelters, kitchens and emergency aid stations where people can find a safe refuge, food and snacks, emotional support, relief supplies, health care services and information about what other help is available. Red Cross workers will be making a larger push to distribute relief supplies this weekend. More than 5,000 relief items have already been handed out, including comfort kits containing personal toiletries and recovery supplies including coolers, buckets, gloves, dust masks, trash bags, flashlights, tarps, shovels, rakes and blankets.
The Red Cross will be there in these affected areas in the weeks and months ahead to help people get back on their feet and recover. This is an emotional time for people in the community in Oklahoma, as many people have lost loved ones and everything they own. Red Cross disaster mental health workers are available to help people cope with the aftermath. This work is being done in close coordination with federal, state and local officials, businesses and the non-profit community around recovery and preparedness activities.
Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.