Local Red Cross volunteers will help northeast through holidays

by: Torie Wells Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Snow is on top of rubble that is already scattered on the ground. The people hit by Sandy have now been hit again, by a nor'easter.

"It is heartbreaking, people are in tears. They are hungry, cold, tired," said Elisa Guarda, a Red Cross volunteer from Monroe.

She is volunteering in New York. Eyewitness News spoke with her over the phone.

Guarda traveled north to help this weekend. Because of the latest storm, her team has been moved from shelter to shelter. As they traveled last night, her crew was stuck in the storm.

"There's an enormous amount of downed power lines, snow and ice on the road," Guarda said.

She still doesn't know how long she will be there. It could be days, could be a week or more.

CLICK HERE for more information on ways to help the Carolina Piedmont American Red Cross.

In the Charlotte area, the Red Cross is planning not just a second but also a third wave of volunteers, through the end of the year, including the holidays.

"We're scheduling volunteers all the way through December," said Karen Long, regional manager for Disaster Volunteer Management. "Thanksgiving, Christmas -- they will be away from home."

Including Long, who has offered to help and expects to be called to leave this weekend, through Thanksgiving.

"If I can help the families that don't have a home, or Thanksgiving dinner, in any way, then that's what's best," she said.

Long said volunteers from the Charlotte area are running shelters, feeding people, some even going door to door.

"We have volunteers trudging out in the wet and the snow, to try to find out what the needs are," Long said.

The volunteers are putting aside their own needs, to make sure their fellow Americans stay safe, fed and warm.

"This is what I do, this is what I do," Guarda said.

The Red Cross said it needs donations now to keep helping those in the northeast. It also needs volunteers willing to help locally for the everyday disasters here, like fires. They have so many volunteers who are traveling.