The Red Cross in South Carolina has deployed five more volunteers to assist with Sandy disaster relief in the Northeast United States. Since this massive relief effort began, the Red Cross has deployed a total of 118 volunteers and eight feeding trucks from South Carolina. Additional volunteers remain on stand-by and will deploy as needed.
The Red Cross anticipates this to be their biggest response in the U.S. in the past five years. To date, nearly 5,500 Red Cross workers from all 50 states are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. About 90 percent of these workers are volunteers.
The Red Cross extensive feeding operation is in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention with kitchens and fixed feeding sites spread across New York and New Jersey. The convention members do the cooking of meals, with food purchased by the Red Cross.
So far the Red Cross has served 6.4 million meals and snacks. Red Cross volunteers are employing 300 feeding trucks as well as rental cars, trucks and other vehicles.
“Sandy left severe devastation across multiple states, and our response will cost millions,” said Scott R. Salemme, regional chief executive officer, American Red Cross, Columbia Region.
Anna Kate Twitty of the Columbia Region Red Cross spent nine days working on a Long Island mega-shelter, which filled to capacity of more than 1,200 people.
“We’ve got plans for multiple Thanksgiving meal distributions and are working with faith-based and other community groups to make sure that people have a really wonderful Thanksgiving. We’re not going to let this storm and the devastation ruin their holiday, ” says Twitty.
She says some of the South Carolina volunteers will be helping in the Northeast over Christmas and the New Year.
“We’re going to be here for weeks and months,” says Twitty.