South Dakotans Answer Gulf Coast’s Call for Help

19 Red Cross Volunteer from the Dakotas respond to hurricane-hit areas


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Millions of people are left homeless, hungry, and distraught after Hurricane Harvey slammed parts of Texas and Louisiana this weekend.

Some South Dakotans are answering the call to help.

“Makes you want to cry really does,” said Jacque Kahler, a Red Cross Volunteer.

When Kahler saw the images coming out of the hurricane stricken areas, she knew she had to go and help.

“We’re driving this little puppy down.”

Jacque, along with Red Cross Volunteer Dan Wall, will be taking a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle to some of the hardest hit areas.

“I and other Red Cross volunteers will drive out in the community and then supply the meals to the neighborhood,” said Wall.

Providing food to people who likely haven’t eaten in days is only one part of the pair’s response mission.

“Your main job is I think listening,” said Kahler.

“Listen, I guess, is the best answer I can give you,” said Wall. “Besides providing them a meal mostly listening to them.”

Jacque Kahler has already been on several Red Cross deployments, and says it doesn’t get any easier.

“You don’t know how to react you really don’t it really doesn’t hit you until you get home.”

This trip will be Wall’s first.

“It’s overwhelming to try and comprehend it. Being on the ground there is going to soak in to my senses a lot more than being able to watch it on TV.”

As millions are displaced, the red cross is sending thousands of volunteers to help.

Kahler and Wall are of 19 responding from the Dakotas.

“We need everybody’s help, so whether you can go or whether or you can give, this is a huge disaster and its gonna take all of us coming together to help meet the needs of those who have been affected,” said Jennifer Ross, Executive Director of Red Cross of Eastern South Dakota.

For Jacque and Dan, they’re ready to do everything they can to help.

“A lot of them, all they want is a hug so you do what you can,” she said.

For those who can’t make the trip to help, there are other ways to donate:

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