Since Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast on Oct. 29, more than 70 American Red Cross workers from Colorado have deployed to assist with Red Cross relief efforts, and more deploy each week as the Red Cross continues its massive outreach to affected residents.
As of Nov. 28, Colorado has deployed 73 total workers – with 30 workers still deployed on the East Coast. Volunteers have accounted for 90 percent of the local Red Cross workers deployed, and seven local employees also deployed – several who spent Thanksgiving working side-by-side with their Red Cross colleagues.
Colorado workers are fulfilling a wide range of Red Cross duties as they contribute to the largest Red Cross disaster response in five years. Volunteers have delivered front-line basic needs by driving through affected neighborhoods to deliver hot meals, setting up fixed feeding sites, staffing shelters to provide a warm, safe refuge, and distributing massive quantities of recovery supplies like clean-up kits, blankets, gloves and batteries. Local volunteers have also met one-on-one with affected residents to meet their physical and emotional needs, including six volunteers who are serving in disaster mental health.
Don Hughes and Peggy Gray are two of many volunteers who supported sheltering.
Don Hughes-worked in the Bronx, New York. “By the time we left, the clients were pretty sad to see us go,” Don said. He said he was particularly impressed by the size of the Red Cross operation as well as the attitudes and hard work of his fellow volunteers.
“I'm always impressed by how much gets done through the Red Cross," he said. He added, "One nice thing about the Red Cross is the people are there because they want to be there.”
Peggy served at a shelter that had more than 200 overnight residents at its height, ranging in age from children to a 99-year-old.
“This was my first deployment out of state, and I think one of the things that really impressed me the most-- not having a lot of experience-- was that everyone had their role to play, and really pitched in,” Peggy said. “I was very impressed. Everything went very smoothly.”
Read stories about the Red Cross response to Sandy and the work our volunteers are accomplishing by visiting http://newsroom.redcross.org.