Posts Tagged ‘iowa’

Howard County Residents Continue to Help in IA

July 10, 2008

Central MD volunteers continue to make headlines for thier efforts in the midwest. Read all about it in todays Columbia Flyer.

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July 2, 2008

An American Red Cross relief worker carried a laundry basket loaded with hot meals and bottled water down a dark hallway to the apartment Bre Campbell shares with her sister and seven children.


Red Cross volunteers have been making this trip twice a day for a week.


“They’ve been really nice to us and really good to us,” Campbell said. “If it hadn’t been for them, there would have been a few days where these kids wouldn’t have eaten.”


Flooding in this city on the banks of the Iowa River didn’t reach Campbell’s second floor apartment, but electric power has been out in her neighborhood for more than a week ago. That leaves her with no operating stove or refrigerator.


Sue Wisdom is one of the Red Cross volunteers who have been delivering food to Campbell’s family and others in similar situations.  


“They’re beginning to get very tired. But they’re keeping positive attitudes,” Wisdom said of Iowans affected by the flooding. “They’re very thankful that the Red Cross is here and helping them.”


Wisdom came to Iowa nearly a week ago from Cleveland, Ohio. She plans to stay as long as she’s needed.


“I love the people. I love how they say ‘God bless you,” Wisdom said. “It’s a good feeling that we’re out here helping people.”  


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Maryland Volunteers Continue to Help in Midwest

July 1, 2008

Wen Pan, a Red Cross volunteer from Howard County poses in Palo, Iowa with members of the international relief organization Tzu Chi. Wen has been serving in Iowa as an Emergency Response Vehicle driver since June 20.

Tzu Chi’s missions focus on giving material aid and inspiring love and humanity in both the givers and receivers. Since its founding, the Foundation has dedicated itself in the field of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection, as well as the promotion of humanistic values and community volunteerism.  Learn more



June 25, 2008

Central Maryland has deployed four additional workers to assist the victims of the current flooding in Iowa and Wisconsin.

Some of the deployed include:

Kelly Formoso, also from Baltimore, MD, is working as a Client Casework Supervisor in Cedar Rapids.

James “Jim” Gourley, of Anne Arundel County, is working as an Emergency Response Vehicle Driver in Madison, WI.

Wen Pan, of Howard County, is also working as a Emergency Response Vehicle Driver in Cedar Rapids, IO. Doug Lent, of Baltimore City, is working as an Public Information Officer in Cedar Rapids. (See article below.)


June 21, 2008

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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June 21, 2008

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has donated more than $200,000 in labor, equipment and diesel fuel to the American Red Cross to make sure flood victims get the supplies they need.


Hundreds of Teamster truck drivers from transportation companies including Yellow, UPS and Ridgeway have covered thousands of miles as volunteers since flood waters devastated the Midwest a week ago.


“People helping people is what we’re all about,” said Cheryl Johnson, director of the Human Rights Commission at Teamsters headquarters in Washington, D.C.


Cedar Rapids union member Gary Dunham agrees that working with the Red Cross is a natural fit.  


 “That’s what we do. We help people,” Dunham said.


People like Frank in Cedar Rapids are grateful for the thousands of Red Cross clean-up kits the Teamsters have delivered.


“In 98 years I never had any water in it,” he said of the family home that once belonged to his grandfather. “I’m tired, but I’m blessed.”


Johnson is proud that many Teamsters are now “disaster ready” after taking Red Cross disaster training. Especially important, they have put together a network of partners and members who know how to quickly access equipment and supplies when needed. In the case of the Midwest floods, the semi-trucks are hauling blankets, cots, food, water and anything else the Red Cross needs.


“They’ve been extremely generous and very flexible,” said Dennis Morgan, a Red Cross volunteer who has helped coordinate efforts in Iowa with the union. “We really appreciate everything the Teamsters are doing.”


Morgan said the union has committed several trucks and drivers to be ready at a moments notice when the Red Cross calls.


The Teamsters are more than truck drivers. Their 1.4 million members are found in variety of industries including airlines, food processers and dairies. Locally, the Teamsters are lending their muscle to the Red Cross as warehouse workers, loading and unloading as many as 60 truckloads of supplies a day. Johnson says after the flood waters recede, the Teamsters will still be playing a role in recovery. Members from the building materials and construction locals will likely be helping folks rebuild.


National disasters are not new to the Teamsters. They have operated their own Disaster Relief Fund since 1991 to help Teamster members who have suffered a loss. The partnership with the Red Cross dates from the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when the union saw a need and stepped up to fill it.


Since that time the Teamsters and the Red Cross keep on truckin’ down the highways to help those along the way.  


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Mid-west Flooding

June 13, 2008

The Central MD Chapter is sending two Red Crossers to mid-west to help those affected by flooding. One disaster mental health volunteer is departing for Wisconsin today and one Disaster Public Affarirs volunteer (me) will leave for Iowa on Monday. More details soon.