Aiken Red Cross volunteer sheds light on sheltering efforts during Hurricane Harvey

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- Marilyn Crady has only been a member of the Aiken Red Cross for two years and was recently sent to Dallas to help with what is now the most devasting hurricane in U.S. history.

This is Crady’s first deployment with the Red Cross and although she doesn’t have much experience with sheltering she volunteered anyway.

“First day I got here on Sunday, for the first time ever I helped set up a large shelter because this was not expected to have to do here. We thought we were going to open up shelters in Houston san Antonio and Austin and all the areas were flooded,” Cradys says.

She is currently working out of a High school gymnasium turned shelter in Dallas. Since arriving on Sunday, Crady has worked 12 to 15 hour shifts helping evacuees find comfort in the midst of chaos.

“These people have left their homes and they had to leave everything they had to leave quick and they have absolutely nothing,” Crady says.

there are currently 350 people staying in that shelter with the number growing by the day. Crady says they are in great need of donations.

 “We’re finding that because this was plan B, C, and D we were just not ready for what we needed as far as clothing and other items personal care items,” Crady told WJBF NewsChannel 6.

Crady says what they really need is boots on the ground and volunteers willing to serve.

“We’re working really hard and we need volunteers, we need volunteers, desperately need volunteers, There’s just not enough people to help and the need is great,” Crady added.

The Aiken Red Cross is currently holding “Just in Time” trainings for volunteers wanting to deploy to Texas to help. The training is for three hours and during the training interested volunteers will learn how to set up and operate a shelter in a disaster zone. Crady is scheduled to stay in Dallas  for two weeks and then return for as long as they need her.

“I never realized how much this meant. I knew I could be of service but I never realized the desperate need of the people. It’s just such a pleasure and a blessing to be used,”Crady expressed.

If you would like to volunteer for deployment or to help locally just visit the Redcross and click on the volunteer tab.

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