Region 8 couple to help flood victims in Louisiana - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Region 8 couple to help flood victims in Louisiana

(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT) (Source: KAIT)
JoAnn Thomas (Source: KAIT) JoAnn Thomas (Source: KAIT)
Disaster Relief Truck (Source: KAIT) Disaster Relief Truck (Source: KAIT)

A Region 8 couple is headed south to help those affected by the historic flooding in Louisiana.

JoAnn Thomas has 18 years of experience helping in disasters.

Thomas and her husband left the American Red Cross office in Jonesboro Thursday morning.

“It’s very devastating to see the results of what the flood has done and the people that have lost everything,” Thomas said.

They will help serve food and water around Baton Rouge.

Thomas said this trip will be similar to what they did in Houston, TX, in June.

“They know we are there to meet their immediate needs, and that is really what Red Cross is about,” Thomas said.

But in Louisiana, Thomas said they may be helping families that know this type of disaster all too well.

“One of the most heartbreaking things for me is to hear the stories of what has happened to them and some of them were not just, this is not their first time,” Thomas said. “They actually lost everything in Katrina or Rita.”

Thomas said when they volunteer they either stay in a shelter or hotel.

“Because it is so widespread we probably will be staying in a shelter, and so it’s a volunteer shelter sometimes there are four to 500 people in this one great big huge room,” Thomas said.

She said staying in a shelter can be a good thing.

“That helps us to understand what the people are going through,” Thomas said.

They will spend two weeks in Baton Rouge as a mobile unit.

While many can't do what they are doing, Thomas said the Red Cross can always use donations.

“You can contribute in many different ways especially with donations financially will help tremendously,” Thomas said.

To volunteer or donate to the American Red Cross visit or call 870-932-3212.

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