Two Local Red Cross Volunteers Return Home from Sandy Deployment

The people of New York were very good to us. They opened up their hearts and were very receptive to our help.

Two of the initial Red Cross volunteers, who were assigned to the Northeast relief effort from the Tennessee Volunteer Region, have returned home today as more workers are preparing for possible deployment in the coming days.

“The people of New York were very good to us. They opened up their hearts and were very receptive to our help,” said Sandra Wilmore. “We served thousands of meals and we were glad to assist those who needed us.”

Jennifer Robins and Sandra Wilmore were deployed to Long Island, New York for 13 days to provide mobile feeding to help deliver hot meals, snacks and water to storm victims. Both women are part of a team of volunteers who are trained to drive Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles through affected communities during a disaster.

“I really found that the people of Long Island were extremely resilient after being hit by a hurricane and a nor’easter in a matter of days,” said Jennifer Robins. “The overall experience was very humbling and inspiring for me.”

The Tennessee Volunteer Region of the American Red Cross has deployed 45 relief workers and 5 Emergency Response Vehicles since before the storm hit. Red Cross workers from the Tennessee Volunteer Region including Chapters located in Davidson, Madison, Montgomery, Rutherford, Shelby, Warren, and Williamson Counties are currently traveling to or are already working in various locations throughout the Northeast. More Red Cross volunteers and staff may continue to deploy to help with relief efforts over the next few days based on need and availability.

As the American Red Cross continues to provide meals, shelter and comfort to families across New York and New Jersey, we’re gearing up for a major supply distribution project. This weekend, the organization is mobilizing a large cadre of volunteers to hand out thousands of bags stuffed with relief supplies like cleaning, hygiene and comfort items in all five New York boroughs and New Jersey.

Our feeding operation is extensive. Working in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention, we have kitchens and fixed feeding sites spread across New York and New Jersey. Red Cross volunteers are also driving through neighborhoods to hand out water, food and relief supplies. Visit http://newsroom.redcross.org for more information. As we learn about specific neighborhoods in need, we are immediately putting plans in place to provide help.

The Red Cross has been helping people since before Sandy made landfall and will continue to help for weeks to come as families get back on their feet. This is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years. If someone would like to help, they can: Donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. People can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross Apps to support the Red Cross relief response. Your gift enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected.

FULL SANDY RESPONSE

The Red Cross has mobilized the full resources of the organization across the country to get help to people affected by Sandy. We are making every effort possible to get food and supplies out to the people who need it in New Jersey and all New York boroughs. We have more than 300 Red Cross feeding trucks mobilized as well as rental cars, trucks and any other vehicle we can find to distribute supplies and food in neighborhoods. More than 5,800 Red Cross workers from all 50 states are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. About 90 percent of these workers are volunteers. Last night, about 5,300 people affected by Sandy stayed in more than 70 shelters.

About the Tennessee Volunteer Region: The American Red Cross Tennessee Volunteer Region operates 9 Chapters and serves residents in 62 counties throughout Middle and West Tennessee. The Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need. Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world. For more information about how get involved and volunteer with your local Chapter, please visit us at www.redcross.org/support/volunteer/opportunities.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.