Friday, September 25, 2009

Iron County Couple to Help in Georgia Floods

The American Red Cross in Utah is answering the call to send disaster trained volunteers to help the people affected by flooding in Georgia. Today, Mark and Evelyn Halstead from the Cedar City, Utah area agreed to go to the scene to help. Mark Halstead will be serving as a volunteer to help with Red Cross casework for flood victims and Evelyn Halstead, a social worker, will be serving as a mental health volunteer. The two have been serving as disaster volunteers for 17 years for the American Red Cross and have been to many disasters across the country. Mark Halstead said, “We enjoy it, we like to help people and it is a very rewarding experience.” Tomorrow, the couple will obtain their volunteer assignments at the Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in Provo at noon and by 2:00 pm they will be checking in at the airport for their trip. Last year, Red Cross Chapters in Utah deployed a total of 29 trained disaster volunteers, like the Halsteads, to disasters nationwide. Many helped during the Midwest floods and during the hurricanes along the Gulf Coast.

On average, right here in Utah, American Red Cross local chapters respond to more than 2 disasters every week; some of them render multiple families homeless. Chapters help victims of major and minor disasters by offering immediate comfort, which may include food, a warm place to stay, clothing, emotional support and other life necessities. Volunteers also give comfort kits to victims of fire, flood, evacuations or other disasters. The kits include helpful items like toothbrushes, hygiene items and a toy for children.

Help people affected by disasters, nationwide and here in Utah, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund or your local Chapter. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.

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