You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Additional Volunteers Deployed to Louisiana

Red Cross volunteer comforting little girl in a shelter

The American Red Cross is helping thousands of people in Louisiana affected by the devastating flooding there, likely the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. More than 500 disaster volunteers from all over the country are on their way to help in Louisiana. The Red Cross has also mobilized 60 disaster response vehicles, 40,000 ready-to-eat meals and more than two dozen trailer loads of shelter and kitchen supplies. 

Here in the Western and Central New York Region, 17 of the area’s Red Cross volunteers are joining the massive disaster response. 

Central New York Chapter: 

John Aldasch, Canastota  - Sheltering 

John Carroll, Camillus - Service Associate/Feeding 

Harry Dashnau, Baldwinsville  - Sheltering 

Gordon Howard, Tully  - Bulk Distribution 

William Morris, Syracuse  - Bulk Distribution Supervisor 

Robert Mueller, Manlius - Service Associate/Feeding 

Mark Paikin, Fayetteville  - Staff Relations Manager 

Frank VanSickle Cortland Client Casework (virtual) 

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 

Donald Nelson,  Endicott - Shelter Supervisor 

Joseph Stover,  Dryden  - Logistics/Warehouse Manager 

Michael Thomas,  Ithaca  - Shelter Supervisor 

Peter Zelno,  Vestal  - Bulk Distribution 

Western New York Chapter: 

Diane Sargent, Lockport  - Bulk Distribution 


Preliminary reports indicate as many as 10,000 homes are damaged, forcing thousands of people from their homes. Those affected are being supported in numerous Red Cross and community shelters where they can find a safe place to stay and food to eat. Many of the Louisiana Red Cross volunteers helping their neighbors have also been affected by the flooding. 

The Red Cross is also working closely with the entire response community to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently, keeping in mind the diverse needs of the community. Some of the organizations sending help to the area include Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the NAACP, Islamic Relief USA, Church of the Brethren Children’s Disaster Services, Save the Children, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints volunteers. 

HOW TO HELP “Initial reports indicate responding to this disaster could cost more than $10 million,” said Regional CEO Rosie Taravella. “The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the public to support our work. We urgently need people to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today, as well as to consider volunteering to help us provide relief on the ground.” 

BECOME A VOLUNTEER People can make a difference in someone’s life by becoming a Red Cross 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 and receive emergency alerts and shelter information. 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