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30 Regional Volunteers Assisting in Louisiana Response

Red Cross volunteer helping lady in a shelter

The American Red Cross remains on the ground, with volunteers across nearly half of the state of Louisiana helping the thousands of people who have lost everything they own in the devastating flooding last week. But the relief organization reports a significant gap in funds raised. 

To date, the Red Cross has received approximately $7.8 million in donations and pledges designated to support Louisiana – not nearly enough to cover the estimate of at least $30 million in costs. 

“The situation in Louisiana remains critical,” said Rosie Taravella, CEO of the Western and Central New York Region. “People need help right now. We urge people to please consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today to support the people of Louisiana.” 

“We are helping thousands of people. However, not nearly enough donations are coming in to cover the cost, so we are sounding the alarm, urging people in this country to remember the folks in Louisiana and make a donation today,” Taravella said. 

HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters. 

Almost 2,000 Red Cross disaster volunteers from every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are helping along with hundreds of local volunteers. As of August 22, the Red Cross and local, state and national partners have already: 

Served more than 260,000 meals and snacks. In partnership with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, four kitchens are cooking meals.

Distributed more than 60,000 relief items. 

Deployed almost 90 disaster response vehicles to help distribute food, water and relief supplies. 

Provided more than 40,000 overnight shelter stays. Sunday night almost 3,000 people were still seeking refuge in 19 Red Cross and community shelters.

Handled more than 17,000 calls from people seeking information and help. 

Mental health disaster volunteers are providing emotional support to people faced with an extremely situation. 

Health services disaster volunteers are monitoring the health needs of people in shelters and replacing things like lost wheelchairs, eyeglasses and medications. 

Here in Western and Central New York, 30 of the area’s Red Cross volunteers are joining the massive disaster response.

Central New York Chapter: 

John Aldasch – Canastota - Sheltering 

May Becker - Fayetteville - Client Casework/Fiscal Review (virtual) 

John Carroll – Camillus - Service Associate/Feeding 

Harry Dashnau - Baldwinsville - Sheltering 

Ed Dienst – Skaneateles- Community Partnerships 

Gordon Howard – Tully - Bulk Distribution 

William Morris - Syracuse - Bulk Distribution Supervisor 

Robert Mueller- Manlius - Service Associate/Feeding 

Mark Paikin- Fayetteville - Staff Relations Manager 

Ken Stapleton- Cicero - Disaster Assessment 

Frank VanSickle- Cortland - Client Casework (virtual) 

Finger Lakes Chapter: 

Lorraine Morris- Bath - Disaster Services Technology 

Greater Rochester Chapter: 

Gail Hirst – Rochester - Client Casework (virtual) 

Sarah Perkins- Pittsford - Disaster Assessment 

James Robinson- East Rochester - Bulk Distribution 

Southern Tier Chapter 

Susan Barr – Brooktondale - Sheltering 

Nancy Hall –Trumansburg - Client Casework (virtual) 

Charles Haupt- Owego - Bulk Distribution Manager 

Donald Nelson- Endicott - Shelter Supervisor 

Greg Patinka – Binghamton -Sheltering 

David Ruston- Binghamton - Sheltering 

Joseph Stover- Dryden - Logistics/Warehouse Manager 

Michael Thomas- Ithaca - Shelter Supervisor 

Dianne Zavada- Vestal - Sheltering 

Peter Zelno- Vestal - Bulk Distribution 

Western New York Chapter: 

Jay Bonafede –Tonawanda- Disaster Public Affairs

Pat Coate –Allegany - Sheltering 

Cynthia Manne- Depew- Disaster Mental Health 

Diane Sargent-Lockport- Bulk Distribution 

Elizabeth Shook-Cuba- Staff Services 

Local officials are estimating that more than 110,000 homes have been damaged. Each day, the Red Cross is able to get into more and more neighborhoods, and volunteers are working tirelessly to provide assistance. In some areas, residents are still experiencing flooding, while other neighborhoods are facing the challenge of cleaning up. Where possible, the Red Cross is beginning to distribute food and relief supplies. 

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To join us, visit today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. 

DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App now to be ready in case of a disaster in their community. They can use the app’s “I’m Safe” button to connect with their loved ones. The Emergency App can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to