Local Red Cross volunteers head to the midwest to help with relief efforts

Local Red Cross volunteers head to the midwest to help with relief efforts
Photo provided by staff.

POSTED: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Saturday, November 23, 2013 - 5:34pm

Residents in Illinois are still picking up after a series of tornados ripped through the area. Saturday, two local Red Cross volunteers boarded a plane to help with the relief efforts.

It is a site that's hard to see; the aftermath of a powerful storm that hit the Midwest only a few days ago.

"There are still families that need shelter," said Red Cross representative, Nancy Malone.

The tornados ripped through communities, leaving people homeless and in need of help.

“I don’t really know much at all but I know this area was hit really hard,” said volunteer Cady Barrett. “We’re going to Peoria and Washington was about 10 minutes away, they were hit the hardest.”

Cady and Tony got to the airport around 6:30 am to venture off to the Midwest. The two young Red Cross volunteers say giving back is something they need to do.

"Society gives us a lot of things and we owe it to society to give back to the common good which is why I volunteer," said volunteer, Tony Bulwynkel.

These two have been getting ready here at home for what they are about to experience.

"I've seen lot of house fires and I have seen a lot of people who have lost a lot of things. That’s prepared me for what I am about to do," noted Bulwynkel.

“Cady and Tony are very well trained to help with client case work,” said Malone. “They will be helping the people who have been affected by the storm, assess there needs and provide resources."

For the first time they will be helping people affected by a disaster that's turned many peoples lives upside down but they know they will not only make a difference, they will come out changed as well, together.

"I think the support will be really good to have someone you know there just in case you get stressed out you want to go home you can always count on your friend to say ‘hey wee going to get through this’."

There are about 500 total volunteers in Illinois right now, three of which are from southern Louisiana.

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