American Red Cross Dakotas responding to heartland tornadoes aftermath
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Staff at the Eastern South Dakota Chapter of the American Red Cross jumped right into work Saturday Morning after seeing the damage left behind by those tornadoes.
Calls have been flying in of South Dakotans looking to help.
“That’s the midwest philosophy. Were here to help and I think as midwesterners that what we’re going to do. If we can’t help financially we’re going to roll up our sleeves and do what we can to be a trained volunteer and deploy out and be there,” Patty Brooks said, the executive director for the Eastern South Dakota Chapter of the American Red Cross.
This chapter has already sent 17 individuals to assist.
“I looked at my wife and I said you know Red Cross is going to call are we going? She said, yeah we’re going,” Tom Henley said, an American Red Cross volunteer that flew out Monday.
Henley is from Aurora and has been volunteering with the Red Cross for 5 years.
“I’ve seen eath quakes and I’ve seen what hurricanes can do bt a tornado of this magnitude and this size you just don’t understand it unless you’re there to see what damage there is and it’s devastating,” Henley said.
Henley will be part of a team that specializes in spiritual care.
“A lot of hugs, lots of prayers, and a lot of compassion and love have to go with this,” Henley said.
His deployment will last two weeks, meaning this will be the first year he spends Christmas apart from his wife.
“That’s not a hard decision. It’s an important day to us but this takes precedence,” Henley said.
To assist the nine-state region that was struck the red cross has already sent 20 thousand units of blood to local hospitals.
They’ve also set up 8 shelters that had more than 250 people who have been displaced stay overnight.
At this point, the donations the Red Cross needs that are the most essential are blood and financial donations. You can donate on the Red Cross website just click donate.
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