By Wendy Osher
The Hawai’i Red Cross continues to support victims of Super Storm Sandy in the weeks after its impact on the East Coast of the US mainland.
Four additional volunteers left for New York this week, and five more will be leaving shortly to assist, bringing the total number of state Red Cross volunteers to 31.
“We are sending Red Cross volunteers from Kauai, Maui, Molokai, the Big Island and Oahu to help those in need on the East Coast and to bring back invaluable experience to help ensure that each island will be able to respond when the next major disaster strikes our islands,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO, American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter in a media statement.
“We have had five near major disasters in the past five years–Hurricanes Flossie and Felicia, and three tsunamis–so it’s just a matter of time that something big will hit, and we need to do everything we can to get ready for it,” said Matayoshi.
Red Cross officials said that with more than 5,700 workers deployed from all 50 states, this is likely to be the biggest response for the agency in the US in the past five years. Workers, about 90% of whom are volunteers, have been supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies.
As Thanksgiving nears, the Red Cross will be working with a range of community and faith-based groups to get Thanksgiving meals to people in the areas affected by Sandy.
To help, the public is invited to donate by visiting the Red Cross at www.redcross.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross, PO Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013 or to the American Red Cross – Hawaii State Chapter, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.