WNY Couple to Spend Holidays Together Working With Sandy Relief

Southwestern NY 12/21/12 WNY Couple to Spend Holidays Together Working With Sandy Relief
“I can think of no better way to celebrate Christmas than helping those who need it.”

Robert Shook of Cuba, NY will be deploying to New York City on Saturday to assist in the Superstorm Sandy relief efforts of the American Red Cross. Shook will be working on an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV), helping deliver food, water and relief items including clean-up supplies and cold weather items such as blankets directly to people in the areas hardest hit by Sandy.

When he arrives in New York City, Shook will reunite with his wife, Beth, who has been deployed as part of the relief efforts since Sandy hit in late October. Beth Shook has already spent Thanksgiving away from her husband, and Bob took a long-planned vacation to visit their children and grandchildren alone while Beth worked on the Sandy relief operation in Staff Services.

The Shook’s have been volunteering with the Red Cross since 1972, after Hurricane Agnes flooded their apartment and they received shelter, food and cleaning equipment from the organization. They currently serve as Disaster Action Team (DAT) Captains and Disaster Training Instructors. Beth has responded to disasters in over 40 states, Guam and Puerto Rico, and Bob is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York.

“I can think of no better way to celebrate Christmas than helping those who need it,” Bob Shook said. “Some folks are still without electricity and I will be delivering food and supplies to them.”

Robert and Beth Shook are just two of the nearly 50 staff and volunteers from Western New York that have deployed to assist in the Sandy relief efforts of the Red Cross since the storm hit. Several of these dedicated volunteers sacrificed spending Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas and/or New Year’s with loved ones at home to help our downstate neighbors who have been devastated by Superstorm Sandy, including Steven Schwartz of Buffalo and Peter Swales of Springville, who each returned to Manhattan this week for a second deployment.

Thanks to the public’s generous support, the American Red Cross has provided food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people impacted by Sandy. More than 1,400 Red Cross workers are still on the ground supporting survivors through our relief work even as we begin our longer-term recovery efforts. The Red Cross is working with government and community partners as part of a comprehensive response to help survivors recover. For more on the Red Cross response to Sandy, please visit www.redcross.org/news/article/Red-Cross-Recovery-Efforts-to-Help-Sandy-Survivors.