Number of Hoosier American Red Cross volunteers grows as need increases

red-cross

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – With more than 7,000 people using shelters in the Southeast, the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers.

One group got an emergency response vehicle crash course Monday that included everything from loading tubs, checking oil, to taking it for a ride.

It’s a course volunteers need before they can assist Hurricane Matthew victims. “We do need the folks in Indiana to help, and help in any kind of capacity,” American Red Cross Indiana region Communications Director, Duchess Adjei said.

Because the need is so great, some volunteers don’t have to wait long to help. After going through a training, some of them could be on their way to the Southeast in a few hours.

It’s something Sharon Graham is going through. The Noblesville woman isn’t a new volunteer.

This group is going through American Red Cross emergency response vehicle training, before shipping to the southeast to help Hurricane Matthew victims. (WISH Photo)
This group is going through American Red Cross emergency response vehicle training, before shipping to the southeast to help Hurricane Matthew victims. (WISH Photo)

She started in Kokomo this August after tornadoes left more than 100 homeless. “Kokomo itself the people there were amazing as a community,” Graham said. “They all came together. It was just so great to see so many people come together for each other.”

She stopped by the agency Monday morning. It was there she learned her trip south would begin in hours.

“Volunteering and helping other people,” Graham said. “It just makes me happy. Usually they do more for you than you can possibly do for them.”

Right now, more than 40 Hoosiers are in the Southeast. There are more than 150 shelters, which is why the Red Cross is still looking for help.

“As long as you have some time and an open heart, and an open mind we are ready to get you trained and ready to get you out the door,” Adjei said.

Those are all things Graham said she has, although she admits rushing down south isn’t the easiest. “They actually wanted to send me out tonight, but as a hairdresser, I have a couple of people that need emergency roots before I leave town for a couple weeks,” Graham said.

The Red Cross is also looking for financial donations. You can text, 90999 with the word, “Matthew,” to donate $10.

If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.