JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - American Red Cross volunteers headed out of Jonesboro and to Texas on Thursday.
American Red Cross volunteer JoAnn Thomas and her husband are headed to help flooding victims.
Thomas said helping others is something she's always enjoyed.
"I've been in the Red Cross for about 18 years," Thomas said. "My husband has been in it for about ten. We just enjoy being able to have the privilege of going and helping other people."
Executive Director of the American Red Cross serving Northeast Arkansas Pam Knapp-Carver said the flooding in Texas is huge.
"It's very bad," Carver said. "We know locally just from the recent flash flooding that we had in this area how bad flooding can be. In Houston the rains have continued. It's hundreds of homes that have been affected and lives who have been devastated due to these rains and flooding."
"We're going to be on the Emergency Response Vehicle," Thomas said. "That is where we serve out food. So, we're going to be feeding people."
Carver said it's wonderful to have volunteers capable of traveling.
"We're very blessed to have volunteers in this area who are able to travel," Carver said. "And go to other areas to provide assistance. And that's what we do in the American Red Cross. We are a national organization where volunteers help not only the people in our area, but during times of major disaster they travel across the country and help those in need in other areas."
Carver said the situation in Texas is so critical that they're rotating volunteer shifts!
"We have volunteers who have deployed to Texas and have come back," Carver said. "And now, we have volunteers who are deploying again. So, we're going through a second round of deployments for our volunteers that are going down to help. We've had caseworkers go down and do casework. Disaster assessment folks who went down and assessed the damage to each individual home and we've even had our Emergency Response Vehicle go. So, it's been a rotating group who have been going out and helping."
Thomas said she was proud to be a volunteer in an organization that does so much.
"The American Red Cross does so much for people," Thomas said. "As the public we don't always understand that. A lot of times people aren't able to go out and work like we do and volunteer. But people can still help tremendously by giving what they can financially to help the people that are affected by the different disasters there are all over the United States."
Thomas said she and her husband will probably be in Texas helping victims for a couple of weeks.
"We are able to do what we do because of others," Carver said. "It's the people in the community who want to participate and help. It doesn't matter if you want to help just locally or if you are available to travel to Texas or other parts of the country to help. The American Red Cross is always needing volunteers. You can do anything from what our group is doing here today, serving food out of our Emergency Response Vehicle to doing case work. There's just a number of things you can do. And we can't do it without those folks. So, we always need more volunteers."
If you would like to help, contact the American Red Cross office on South Madison in Jonesboro at (870) 932-3212.
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