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Volunteers Needed Now to Aid in Disaster Recovery

Two weeks after Hurricane Matthew began its path of destruction in the southeast, the American Red Cross has served more than a million meals and snacks and provided more overnight shelter stays than after Superstorm Sandy. The response is far from over, and Red Cross workers will continue to support those affected for as long as help is needed. 

More than 60 volunteers from the Eastern New York Region have been deployed to assist with relief efforts to date. As the Red Cross begins to shift its service delivery to meet changing needs on the ground, the Eastern New York Region is now recruiting local volunteers who can aid in the disaster recovery process. These volunteers may be physically deployed to the southeast or may work virtually to help connect victims of Hurricane Matthew with the services and resources they need.

The Red Cross will hold another one-day training workshop for prospective volunteers on Wednesday, October 26, in Albany. To meet current needs, the training will focus primarily on casework, which involves talking with people individually, providing them an opportunity to share their needs, coordinating follow-up services, and—for those who qualify—providing financial assistance. Volunteers should either be willing and able to deploy to the southeast, or be able to work virtual shifts (4-8 hours per day with home phone and internet access) for a minimum of 10 days upon completion of training. 

The one-day workshop will be held from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, October 26 at the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York, located at 33 Everett Road in Albany. Interested participants may register online, or contact Lauren Whitman at (518) 694-5103 or Lauren.Whitman@redcross.org for more information. The Red Cross will cover all training costs, as well as travel costs for individuals who are deployed. Volunteers who are unable to commit to an immediate 10 days of service are still encouraged to attend the training, as caseworkers are also needed to support disaster victims within the Eastern New York Region.

People can also help those affected by Hurricane Matthew by making a financial donation. We need the public’s support to help the thousands of people still suffering. Those who wish to donate can do so by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.