Red Cross puts call out for NH volunteers needed to assist with hurricane, wildfire survivors

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NH volunteer Bill Sitz of the American Red Cross shows Melanie Davis where to go to get a meal at a hotel being used as a shelter for families affected by Hurricane Laura, in New Orleans, LA on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Photo/Scott Dalton, American Red Cross

CONCORD, NH –  The Northern New England Region of the American Red Cross continues to deploy volunteers to large-scale disasters around the country. Faced with wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters, the humanitarian organization needs additional volunteers to help people in urgent need.

For the past several weeks, the Red Cross has been helping tens of thousands of people whose lives have been uprooted by the Midwest Derecho, the relentless wildfires in the West, Hurricane Laura and catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Sally.

Bill Sitz of Sandwich is among the more than 5,000 Red Crossers who have supported disaster relief efforts on the ground or virtually since Aug. 19.

A seasoned disaster responder, Sitz recently returned home after a deployment where he served as a shelter supervisor in New Orleans for Hurricane Laura survivors.

“You get more than you give when you deploy with the Red Cross,” he said. “It’s amazing to see disaster responders from all walks of life coming together to fulfill our humanitarian mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.”

Thousands of volunteers like Sitz are working tirelessly across the country to provide food, shelter, comfort and other support to people in disaster survivors.

Many of these dedicated humanitarians have themselves been affected by the ongoing wildfires or hurricanes. On Tuesday night, the Red Cross and its partners cared for nearly 30,000 people in emergency lodgings.

Dozens of deadly wildfires continue to rage in the West, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate and consuming more than 5 million acres. A few weeks ago, Hurricane Laura – one of most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S. – left terrible devastation across Louisiana and east Texas just days after Tropical Storm Marco affected the same region. On Wednesday, Hurricane Sally made landfall as a powerful and slow-moving Category 2 storm, bringing catastrophic flooding to parts of Alabama and Florida.

Mary and her daughters are greeted by Bill Sitz of the American Red Cross as they arrive for lunch. Hotels are being used as shelters for families affected by Hurricane Laura, in New Orleans, LA on Thursday, September 3, 2020. Photo/Scott Dalton, American Red Cross

New Volunteers Needed to Deploy to Support Relief Efforts

The Red Cross needs to add to its volunteer ranks to support disaster relief efforts locally and around the country. Volunteers are needed to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks. Review the most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.

LEARN MORE  If you are interested in helping people in the face of disaster as a volunteer or want to learn more, contact Volunteer Services for the Northern New England Region at VolunteerNNE@redcross.org or 800-464-6692.

Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider and follow local guidance. Our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.

OTHER WAYS TO HELP 

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to provide disaster relief immediately. Please donate to help now by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

The Red Cross urges eligible individuals in parts of the country unaffected by these disasters to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients in need. Please schedule an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED CROSS.

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/NNE or visit us on Facebook at @RedCrossNNE, Instagram at @RedCrossNNE or at Twitter at @ARC_NNE.