Local volunteers help out with response and relief efforts in Louisiana

Local volunteers head to Louisiana
Posted at 7:53 AM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-01 07:53:17-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Help from Hampton Roads is on the way to areas hit hard by Hurricane Laura.

The powerful category four storm took the lives of at least six people and left behind unimaginable destruction.

“I just want to be there to provide support. Be arms in a socially distant way to give a hug to those that really need someone to walk them through their process of grief at this time,” said Michelle Ellis Young, Executive Director of the American Red Cross.

We have been seeing many local volunteers heading to Louisiana. Last Thursday, a team of three with Operation Blessing arrived a couple of hours outside Lake Charles with a truck full of basic supplies and equipment. The disaster relief team is ready to help those in need.

“We have tarps that we can replace peoples damaged roofs with a tarp. We can do chainsaw operations so we can tear down trees for people,” said Blake Mueller with Operation Blessing.

More than two dozen Red Cross volunteers from across Virginia are working around the clock. Tuesday morning, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross – Michelle Young – flew out of Virginia to head to Louisiana for response and relief efforts.

Young says she is originally from Louisiana and has family in the areas impacted from Hurricane Laura. She is deploying to work as a disaster spiritual care worker for the response and relief efforts.

“It’s just one of those things when we talk about repetitive trauma of people who’ve gone through disaster after disaster. So, really it just tugs on my heart and that’s the reason why I’m going,” said Young.

Young is being deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and says she will receive further information when she arrives to the impacted communities she will be working in.