Volunteer Sherri Batts of Dubuque, Iowa loads meals for flood victims. The usually vacant Hy-Vee storefront on University Avenue is full of activity from the American Red Cross and its partners. They are using the location as a bulk distribution headquarters to bring vital resources to the region.

Inside the building, pallets are stacked with supplies donated by businesses including Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart, to help with relief efforts. Red Cross partners are eager to help in other ways too. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters have donated the transportation services of their members to ship much needed supplies to disaster victims. One UPS driver for example, said he’s working a double shift today—one on his regular route and one volunteer shift to make sure Red Cross shelters get the blankets and cots they need.

Red Cross volunteers from around the country load and unload trucks with clean up supplies, water and hot meals that are then taken to flooded neighborhoods in Black Hawk, Butler and Brewer Counties. Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle driver Bob Laverack from Kalamazoo, Mich. says the best part of volunteering is seeing the reaction from those that he delivers the supplies too.

“That’s the payoff, is seeing how much they enjoy what they’re getting,” says Laverack. “One lady told me I’m an angel.”

A temporary kitchen has also been set up by the Southern Baptist Churches that will feed more than 4,000 people a day in the region.

“People are in need,” says Sherri Batts of Dubuque, Iowa, who volunteered to cook with the Southern Baptist’s this week. “They’re glad we’re here and they’re thankful that somebody’s watching out for them. I’m hoping that if that happened to me someone would be there for me.”
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