Community

May 31, 2014 11:55 AM by Press Release

More than 50 Red Cross volunteers providing aid across region

The American Red Cross continues helping residents after heavy rains flooded communities across south Louisiana this week - and rain is ongoing in some areas. In Maurice, a Red Cross shelter remained open overnight with about a dozen residents staying there.

More than 50 trained volunteers and staff have traveled across south Louisiana to run shelters, distribute clean-up supplies, conduct disaster assessments, coordinate with parish leaders and other partners, and provide for residents' emergency needs. Red Cross volunteers also have supported emergency crews with water, Gatorade, snacks and shelter. The Red Cross response will continue through the weekend, at least.

Today, volunteers will be in parishes such as Lafayette, Ascension and St. James to distribute supplies including mops, brooms, disinfectant, soaps, trash bags, gloves and sponges to residents. On Thursday and Friday, volunteer teams delivered about 160 clean-up kits in Southeast Louisiana and the Capital Area.

"These dedicated volunteers have been working hard to make sure residents have what they need where they are," said Bobbi Zaunbrecher, COO of the South Louisiana Region. "With this ongoing response and hurricane season starting Sunday, I invite you to join the Red Cross as a volunteer."

Go to redcross.org/lafayette and choose the Volunteer link on the left side, or call the Acadiana Area Chapter at (337) 234-7371, to sign up.

"We need trained volunteers prepared to respond to disasters big and small that confront our communities," Zaunbrecher said. "We can use people at every level - in every activity. But the catch is, you must get training. It makes you confident. It makes your experience better."

Some Red Cross volunteers focus their response in their home parish; others travel the seven-parish area and beyond when they are needed. Some dedicate a few hours a week; others work only when there is a disaster.

"We can work with your schedule and preference. There's a place waiting for you with the Red Cross," Zaunbrecher said.

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