Red Cross looks for volunteers to help with disaster relief

by: Sarah Rosario Updated:


NORTH CAROLINA - The Red Cross is looking for nearly 400 volunteers to help with disaster relief in the Northeast after Sandy.

Their focus is to provide shelter but now they've run into a need for blood donors.

"We have approximately 250 blood drives that have been canceled. That's about 8,000 units of blood that we will not be able to collect, "said Angela Broome, regional director.

Two blood drives were canceled in Boone and in Ashville. For now the Red Cross said supply is not critically low but the need is great for both donors and volunteers.

"We're reaching out to the volunteers and asking the ones that are trained in sheltering to respond," said Broome.

The Red Cross responds at a moment's notice to any disaster big or small. On Sunday, Eyewitness News was there as a group of 20 volunteers deployed to the Northeast from Charlotte. The group is spread throughout West Virginia, Maryland, New York and New Jersey.

"One of our teams went out yesterday to go to the eastern panhandle and they actually had to stop overnight about three-quarters of the way there," said Sam Burr, shelter team supervisor.

The group was stopped in their tracks because of weather conditions created by Sandy. They say highway patrol later reopened the roads allowing them to pass through. The group was able to set up two shelter teams in West Virginia. Tuesday they learned that's not enough.

Overnight the Red Cross reported nearly 11,000 people slept in 258 Red Cross shelters in the Northeast, almost quadruple the amount of people who were seeking shelter Sunday night, before Sandy made landfall. That's why organizers in Charlotte are looking for more volunteers.

You can help the Red Cross by going to their website You can also make a $10 donation to help Sandy victims by texting 90999.