Volunteers Working To Make A Difference in Marmaduke

April 5, 2006 – Posted at 6:39 p.m. CST

MARMADUKE, AR -- Total devastation...after losing everything on Sunday many Marmaduke residents are deciding where to start their post-tornado lives. As they begin to put their lives back together, many residents need help with even their basic needs like food and water...that's when volunteers become crucial.

No food, no water, no home, no problem. That has been the motto for the volunteers who have come to aid the people in Marmaduke who have nothing.

"With God's help we made it, and we were all lucky," said resident Narine Ransom, "All the Red Cross workers have been helping us so much and we appreciate the help."

Since Sunday's tornado, organizations like the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Team have mobilized to help those like Ransom who have lost everything.

"We bring in volunteers from the region. From Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana," said American Red Cross volunteer Deborah Weaver.

Volunteers from across the country, taking time out of their busy schedules to help people they have never met.

"They are my neighbors just like people next door to me," said Red Cross volunteer Jenaldie Bond.

"I was once in a situation where the Red Cross helped me, so I wanted to return the gift," said Weaver.

Whether it is passing out food, water, and supplies or just offering a kind word of encouragement, volunteers are making a difference with the residents of Marmaduke.

"This is what life is about, just helping people," said Bond.

The Red Cross is passing out roughly 4,000 meals a day and that doesn't include snacks and water. For the volunteers, who don't get paid a dime, it's just another reason to help out.

"Their faces light up and a smile comes to their face and that makes me feel so good inside and that's what it is all about," said Bond.

"It's God's work, we just praise God," said Ransom, "They are out here helping, not even getting paid for it, just volunteers. You can't find very many people out there who will help someone they don't even know."

For residents who are rebuilding their lives, just the site of a volunteer has made a difference for them.

"I just thank everyone for helping us," said Ransom.

The Red Cross says the biggest need in Marmaduke is for financial donations. Those donations can be dropped off at the Jonesboro or Blytheville chapters of the American Red Cross.