CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The Red Cross and other organizations are sending Charlotte-area volunteers to Florida to help with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.
Two Red Cross volunteers left from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Sunday, and a third will leave on Monday.
One of those volunteers is Lisa Phinney. This will be the third time she’s been deployed to help in times of national crisis, but she says it doesn’t mean the feelings get any easier.
“I was a little nervous just not knowing what it is like on the ground, but this is what we sign up for. We sign up for not knowing where we’re going, not knowing what the conditions might be,” Phinney said.
For at least two weeks, she’s tasked with reuniting people with their family and friends. It’ll be long hours and will likely take an emotional and physical toll.
“Most of the time we’re 12 hours on, 12 hours off, six days in a row,” Phinney said. “I want my presence to be a positive for them, so I’m really trying to just go inward on myself right now and take things as they come.”
The Red Cross said they have about 1,300 volunteers from across the country on the ground in Florida. Another local relief organization, Samaritan’s Purse based in Boone, North Carolina, says they have 21 staff members and 144 volunteers there.
“That’s one of the things that my heart loves about it – is that when we all come together, we do amazing things for people in our community,” Phinney said.
The Red Cross takes in-person and virtual volunteers to assist with local and national disasters. If anyone would like to learn about becoming a volunteer, they can do so by clicking here. If anyone would like to learn about making a monetary contribution to their Hurricane relief efforts, they can click here.