Ruth Lathrop of the American Red Cross unloads supplies to be handed out to families affected by Hurricane Laura n Lake Charles, LA on Aug. 31. Courtesy photo/Scott Dalton, American Red Cross

The Northern New England Region of the American Red Cross continues to deploy volunteers to large-scale disasters around the country. Faced with wildfires, hurricanes and other disasters, the humanitarian organization needs additional volunteers to help people in urgent need.

For the past several weeks, the Red Cross has been helping tens of thousands of people whose lives have been uprooted by the Midwest Derecho, the relentless wildfires in the West, Hurricane Laura and catastrophic flooding caused by Hurricane Sally.

Ruth Lathrop of Windham, Maine, is among the more than 5,000 Red Crossers who have supported disaster relief efforts on the ground or virtually since Aug. 19.

A seasoned disaster responder, Lathrop recently returned home after a deployment where she distributed emergency supplies to Hurricane Laura survivors in Louisiana. She was part of an effort that went into communities that were without power or water to deliver items water and items like shovels and clean-up kits.

On Thursday, she recalled the gratitude of a woman who had been picking up bits of insulation with her bare hands.

“You give someone a pair of gloves and they act like you’ve given them gold,” Lathrop said. “It was really rewarding. We were giving them something they need.”

Thousands of volunteers like Lathrop are working tirelessly across the country to provide food, shelter, comfort and other support to people in disaster survivors.

Many of these dedicated humanitarians have themselves been affected by the ongoing wildfires or hurricanes. On Tuesday night, the Red Cross and its partners cared for nearly 30,000 people in emergency lodgings.

Dozens of deadly wildfires continue to rage in the West, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate and consuming more than 5 million acres. A few weeks ago, Hurricane Laura – one of most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S. – left terrible devastation across Louisiana and east Texas just days after Tropical Storm Marco affected the same region. On Wednesday, Hurricane Sally made landfall as a powerful and slow-moving Category 2 storm, bringing catastrophic flooding to parts of Alabama and Florida.

New Volunteers Needed to Deploy to Support Relief Efforts

The Red Cross needs to add to its volunteer ranks to support disaster relief efforts locally and around the country. Volunteers are needed to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks. Review the most urgently needed volunteer positions at redcross.org/volunteertoday.

LEARN MORE If you are interested in helping people in the face of disaster as a volunteer or want to learn more, contact Volunteer Services for the Northern New England Region at [email protected] or 800-464-6692.

Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider and follow local guidance. Our No. 1 priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.

OTHER WAYS TO HELP

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to provide disaster relief immediately. Please donate to help now by visiting redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

The Red Cross urges eligible individuals in parts of the country unaffected by these disasters to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply for patients in need. Please schedule an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED CROSS.

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