Hurricane Sandy has wreaked havoc on the East Coast and volunteers from Silicon Valley have volunteered to help.
The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter sent an additional 18 volunteers this week to provide help through feeding, client casework, sheltering and mass care. These volunteers bring the total number of volunteers from Monterrey/San Francisco/Santa Clara counties to 128. Of these, 38 are from Silicon Valley.
"Hurricane Sandy is the biggest responses in the last five years," says Pooja Trivedi, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Silicon Valley. "It's been one of our biggest deployments."
This week's volunteers deployed to the East Coast are:
- Mira Rubin of Half Moon Bay,
- Michael Smith of San Mateo,
- Duino Giordan of Los Gatos,
- Patrick McKenna of Palo Alto,
- Howard Gray and Patricia DeWitt of Morgan Hill,
- Ellen Hui of Santa Clara,
- Katherine Laughlin of Mountain View,
- Tom Busk of Gilroy,
- Edwin Ehmke of Menlo Park,
- Phyllis Schmit of Cupertino,
- Gary Pelton, Diane St. Denis, John Griffiths, Laurie Couto, and Therese Becker of San Jose.
Along with these, Stuart Chessen of Cupertino and Shelley Giles of San Jose have been deployed as a team of two to drive the Emergency Response Vehicle across the country from the San Jose Red Cross office, Trivedi says. The two left over the weekend and will provide hot meals, snacks, water and relief supplies to clients.
"Huricane Sandy volunteers have found it very rewarding," Trivedi says. "They go into the community and give back. Our volunteers are really passionate. Within 24 hours ready to head out.
"They're seeing a lot of devastation in the community but doing their best handing out blankets and warm meals," she says.
Although the organization is not taking any donations of goods and supplies for those in the East Coast, it is seeking monetary donations.
"It would cost us to ship that material," Trivedi explains on why they aren't receiving donations for goods. "We will use financial donations directly to purchase what they need but we highly encourage people to donate food and clothes if other organizations are doing this."
According to a release by the Red Cross, it has served more than 3.3 million meals and snacks, provided nearly 30,000 health services and emotional support contacts and handed out more than 124,000 relief items to clients since Hurricane Sandy first hit.
There have been more than 117,000 overnight stays at Red Cross and partner shelters, the release said. Wednesday night about 7,600 people affected by Sandy stayed in more than 110 Red Cross and partner shelters.
According to the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Press Release:
FINANCIAL DONATIONS NEEDED
Those who want to help can make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting www.redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. People can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross Apps to support the Red Cross relief response. Contributions may also be sent to local American Red Cross chapters.
LOOKING FOR LOVED ONES
The Red Cross Safe and Well website is also available. People can access the site and let loved ones know where they are. There are several ways to register on Safe and Well, or search for a loved one. From a computer, visit redcross.org; from a smart phone, visit www.redcross.org/safeandwell or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to be connected with one’s local Red Cross chapter.