Donations, volunteers still needed for relief

By Christina Killion Valdez

Several local volunteers traveled to Texas to assist survivors in the wake of Hurricane Ike, but volunteers and donations are still needed.

Before the storm hit, a group of volunteers were deployed to Florida to assist with preparations, said Colette Gallagher, communications and development coordinator for the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross. When the path of the storm changed, those volunteers also moved, she said.

"They quickly mobilized to where it was headed," Gallagher said. Those volunteers arrived before the storm hit, she said.


That group includes Steve Bailey, Dale Deters and Bruce Murray of Rochester; Nadean Becker of Wabasha; Gary Burton and Diane Burton of Kasson; Lois Stemper of Caledonia; George Feil of Zumbrota; and Eunice Swenson and Eric Swenson of Stewartville.

This weekend, three additional volunteers, Meredie Sexton and Patsy Clement of Rochester and Beverly Stone of Lake City, joined the group in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where relief effort headquarters are.

"Right now they are doing basic feeding and sheltering at the shelters that are open," Gallagher said. "When a town is hit, it goes right to mass care, focused on the basics, food, clothing and shelter."

Additional volunteers are also being sought with training being provided this week. The training is offered for people who can deploy immediately and make a three-week commitment, she said.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by volunteers and donations.

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