MUSKEGON, MICH. - Six volunteers from the Muskegon Red Cross chapter are driving to Texas. The chapter's emergency response vehicle is also traveling to Texas. The volunteers will receive assignments after arriving near Huston.
The volunteers mobilized over the weekend as they left behind commitments in an effort to help strangers devastated by hurricane Harvey.
"We need as many people as we can get," said Donna Whitehead, Muskegon Red Cross.
She was working Monday to process out Ray VanSlyke, a volunteer who is qualified as a mass care leader.
"You get in your mind what it is going to look like and you get there and it is nothing like you'd expected," said VanSlyke.
He's traveled to 40 locations as a Red Cross volunteer. He's flying out again but his assignment community is not yet known.
"Because they do not know where anyone can fly into yet," said VanSlyke. "The area is still closed down most of it."
Ray says at any shelter site he'll work hard to show the people in Texas that they are important.
"And just let them for a few minutes forget the situation they are in," said VanSlyke.
Judy Chesley is another volunteer who started volunteering 12 years ago.
"It is such a reward to go down and help people," said Chesley. "There is a need people have to have some help and we are available to help."
"This is the time to do it, come in and sign up right now, we can use you," said VanSlyke. "There is no job that you can't do with the Red Cross, just show up and they will fit you to a job that is no problem."
Muskegon volunteers will serve food, work at shelter locations, distribute medical supplies, and clothing. Others are being called on to make important connections.
"Trying to get families who have lost each other back together again," said Whitehead.
The first wave of volunteers from the Muskegon chapter were on the ready at any moment list. Most likely addition volunteers will joint the first group after more specific volunteers sites and needs are requested.
For more information on the Red Cross you can visit their website. You can donate to the American Red Cross online, by calling 1-800-435-7669 or by texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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