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Sioux Falls Red Cross Volunteer’s labor of love to help Hurricane Laura victims

“The feeling of, I’m helping somebody and they’re grateful and it’s taking a load off of them...
“The feeling of, I’m helping somebody and they’re grateful and it’s taking a load off of them to have someone down there with them,” said Giddens.(Dakota news now)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - While the American Red Cross is launching a national effort to help those that have been ravaged by Hurricane Laura, 18 local volunteers are on their way right now to help.

The airport is welcoming a steady stream of travelers, for business or pleasure. For Rebecca Giddens, the flight is not for business and certainly not for pleasure. It’s a labor of love.

“I am going down to Baton Rouge and I will be working as a staff ambassador,” said Giddens.

Her responsibility will be caring for the other volunteers: so they can help those who have suffered from the devastating damage to the Gulf Coast and areas far inland.

“They say about two weeks, is what to expect, can be a little bit less just kind of depends on what happens,” said Giddens.

Giddens started as a volunteer ten months ago and has had extensive training for her first deployment.

“Online and then also in-person instructor based training that we go through simulations on that kind of thing to prepare us for what it’ll be like down on the ground,” said Giddens.

The desire to help others came from seeing her own sister lose everything in a previous hurricane.

“The feeling of, I’m helping somebody and they’re grateful and it’s taking a load off of them to have someone down there with them,” said Giddens.

Being among the 800 Red Cross volunteers responding so far brings perspective to her own life.

“I’m more grateful for the things that I have and what I’m able to do. Having that in the back of my head when I’m having a bad day or you know something’s troubling me, just to know that there are people out there that are dealing with far worse than I could ever deal with right now so definitely,” said Giddens.

The biggest impact you can make is to give financially, as the infrastructure is not set up yet for donations of personal items and clothing.

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