Yakima chapter of American Red Cross sends volunteers for hurricane relief

Yakima chapter of American Red Cross sends volunteers for hurricane relief. (KIMA)

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Nearly 50 volunteers from the Northwest region have deployed to the East Coast to assist with disaster relief efforts after Hurricaine Matthew.

Two volunteers left from Yakima Tuesday, starting a five-day journey to South Carolina.

When Carol Green of Snohomish County retired from teaching, she wanted to use her free time giving back.

This summer, she signed up to volunteer with the American Red Cross.

Just a few months after completing her training, she got the call.

"I got called on Sunday night and said 'are you willing to go on a deployment?' and I jumped at the opportunity," Carol said.

Carol packed her bags and got ready to go.

She and Lloyd Jensen, a retired engineer from Yakima, have just started the drive to South Carolina.

The pair are driving an emergency response vehicle to areas hit hardest by Hurricane Matthew.

"Everybody seems to chime in and help out when there's a dangerous thing like this and it's a good thing," Lloyd said.

The team will provide meals, supplies, and other services to people in need.

They hope to make a small dent in the devastation that's claimed dozens of lives in the US alone.

"They tell us that this hurricane is going to be right up there with Katrina, so that means a lot of damage, a lot of people affected," Disaster Relief Specialist Cody Tusler said.

If you're interested in going on the next mission, the Red Cross encourages you to start the volunteer process now.

There's training, classes, and plenty of ways to help when disaster strikes.

"The next time that we have a big storm on the East Coast, then we have more qualified volunteers to step in and do the work," Tusler said.

A responsibility these volunteers are driven to take on.

"It feels good to give back," Llyod said.

The Red Cross welcomes monetary donations but asks that you do not send physical goods because of logistical issues.

If you want to get involved with our local Red Cross chapter, you can stop in their office at 302 S 2nd St, or click here.

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