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Maine Volunteers Rushed to Help in Louisiana's Devastating Floods

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Within in a week of the devastating floods in Louisiana, Ruth Lathrop (of Windham) and Joyce Baron (of Athens) found themselves driving one of Maine's Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle more than 1,650 miles from Portland to Baton Rouge.

“Having previously lived in South Carolina, I have seen the devastation from floods and how much people suffered; I wanted to volunteer with an organization where I could help people and the Red Cross is a great place to do that,” said Ruth.

Ruth and Joyce were just two of more than 2,900 Americans volunteering to help with the Red Cross’ disaster response efforts in Louisiana. On average, Ruth and Joyce handed out 800 meals each day to people in need and gave “countless hugs to anyone that needed one.”

They spent more than 100 hours delivering free meals and water to families. As much as Ruth enjoyed doing this work, she said, “it was heartbreaking to see how many families had lost everything. There were piles of belongings on every street corner, piled six feet high that included children’s toys, baby cribs and houses were completely demolished with only the studs remaining.”

During the two weeks they were in Louisiana, Ruth and Joyce heard from so many courageous people, who told them heroic stories of strangers saving their lives as the rising flood waters came into their homes and how they were ready to rebuild. “They told us incredible stories and I am so grateful that I could be there for them; I was just so sad that they needed us.”

Learn how to become a volunteer with the Red Cross in Maine by visiting,