Volunteers still needed for disaster relief

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - American Red Cross organizers in North Texas said more volunteers are needed, not supplies, to help with disaster relief efforts as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida.

The Red Cross reserved half of its national resources after Hurricane Harvey in anticipation of more disasters.

One Texoma woman, Brenda Carpenter, is answering that call for help. She signed up to become a Red Cross volunteer on Friday. Carpenter, 66, is a Navy veteran and said she wants to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

"It's just in my blood to not sit still forever even though I've had some problems physically," Carpenter said. "I still want to help others."

Many volunteers were deployed for longer than expected and more are needed.

"Our volunteers can get worn out," Executive Director Kristina Farmer for American Red Cross North Texas Chapter said. "They've deployed over and over and over in a year."

Carpenter said she is trying to find a volunteer position close to home and nothing will stop her from helping, especially not her disability.

"Whatever the need is and what I can physically do [I'll do]."

Farmer said the Red Cross stopped sending volunteers from the East coast to South East Texas so they can help in Florida. She said she would like more Texomans to volunteer to help Harvey victims.

"The volunteers can come in and take some real short training to get deployed in Dallas in shelters there," Farmer said.

The organization is now doing fast turn arounds for training to get volunteers deployed out faster. Training can take up to three days and volunteers may be deployed for two weeks or more depending on how much help is needed.

If you cannot volunteer, the best way to help is monetary donations. You can text "Harvey" to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.

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