Local Red Cross Volunteer Ready for Deployment

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

August 29, 2005

Nationwide, the Red Cross has already deployed almost 900 volunteers to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Locally the Red Cross is also gearing up for disaster assistance.

The Charlottesville chapter of Red Cross has sent out 10 volunteers so far to help with disaster relief. One volunteer spoke to the Newsplex about what she's expecting.

"We're just looking at the assignment sheet at this point and we know already that your going into Houston," said Berton Blumenfeld, of the Charlottesville Red Cross to Susan.

Through the local Red Cross, Susan is being deployed to Texas to help with disaster relief due to Hurricane Katrina. From there she will get specific instructions on where she will go next.

"I will be in client services, or [what used to be called] family services, and I will be working with individual families helping to assess what their immediate needs are," said Susan.

As a pseudo social worker, she will be counseling families at local shelters. Just by being there Susan feels like she is giving families a piece of their lives back.

Susan was briefed beforehand giving her an idea of what to expect.
"Bring your own sheets and blankets and a sleeping bag," said Blumenfeld.

"I think being there, experiencing the same things they're going to experience really makes a statement about your commitment to help," said Lonnie Kirby, of the Charlottesville Red Cross.

Susan is a retired educator who has never volunteered for this kind of situation before, but as she packed for the long journey, she realized she will be helping rebuild lives.

"It's going to be a very rough assignment. We sure do appreciate you're going," said Blumenfeld to Susan.

"This will be different, it will test me but I'm ready for that test," said Susan.

Susan does not know how long she will be deployed, but the Red Cross has told her that she will be there a minimum of three weeks. If you would like more information on donating or volunteering with the local Red Cross, you can check out their website at American Red Cross: Central Virginia Chapter.

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