Volunteers Eager to Help with Disaster Relief Efforts in Texas

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- The American Red Cross has sent 15 volunteers from the Sioux Empire to Texas. They will help with the disaster relief following Hurricane Harvey and many more are expected to be deployed as early as this week. Today 60 volunteers spent six hours training as they prepare to travel to affected areas.

“Very surreal when you see it on TV, I can only imagine what it looks like in person,” says Volunteer Judi Ketron.

It’s been tough for Judi Ketron to sit and see Texas, a place, she once called home get flooded.

“It’s really hard to watch and you are nervous the whole time watching it,” says Ketron “ And as it gets higher and higher, you just wonder how in the world is this ever going to end,”

So instead of not doing anything, she decided she would go there and give back to the people and her family members affected as well.

“Always wanted to help where I can help, it’s really hard to watch on TV and not help,” says Ketron.

Judi along with 59 volunteers sat through training to get a better understanding of what working inside an American Red Cross shelter would look like, once they deploy to Houston.

For two weeks, they will spread out to help in the more than 200 Red Cross shelters that have been set up in Texas, since the hurricane hit.

“Just teaching people how to handle mass feedings, working the shelter, and handling all the supplies that are needed to be given to these people,” says American Red Cross Board Member, Melissa Merchant.

Even others that have never gone through something like this are eager to help.

“I think it will be a great life changing experience for me is what I am looking for,” says Volunteer Janet Lee. “Anything you can do to give a little bit of hope, a little bit of help,”

With already 15 people from the area down in Texas helping, the Red Cross says the support from the community continues to pour in.

“I definitely think that is one of the heartwarming parts about something like this happening,” says Merchant “This is across the country and you see a movement happening here locally in Sioux Falls,”

Another training session has been set up for next Monday, that class is already full with about 20 people on the wait list. All travel, food, and shelter will be covered by the Red Cross.

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