Help rushing in from the Central Valley as Florida braces for Hurricane Irma

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Red Cross volunteers are stocking up on water and other supplies at Costco before heading on their long drive to Florida, where they will be doing all they can to help. (KFSN)

Red Cross volunteers are stocking up on water and other supplies at Costco before heading on their long drive to Florida, where they will be doing all they can to help.

"More than likely we will be mobile feeding. Bulk distribution things they need out there on the ground, water, snacks, hot meals to cleaning supplies," said Red Cross volunteer Jerry Chavez.

Chavez and Ray Quintana are veterans of hurricane relief. They volunteered on Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. Now they are heading for Irma.

Why do they do it? Chavez said, "It's a good feeling to come out of the comfort of our homes to help somebody even if it's for a short time."

"It makes me feel so good to help people in their time of need, so we are there for them to help them any way we can," said Quintana.

The local Red Cross staff and volunteers have their helping hands full right now.

Jessica Piferro with the Red Cross said, "We are facing two historic hurricanes plus wildfires here in the Central Valley, plus our regular home fire responses, so our volunteers are in overdrive working around the clock to help people with disasters big and small."

Anyone wanting to help is urged to donate money, rather than stuff.

"It takes a lot of time and resources to sort, clean, store, and redistribute these goods, whereas financial donations allow us to use that money quickly and in a flexible way to meet the unique needs of the families that need it," said Piferro.

Many relief organizations say massive donations of goods turn into a second disaster, and most of it ends up in dumps.

Just as with Hurricane Harvey, you can donate to Hurricane Irma relief by texting IRMA to 90999, and your phone will be billed $10. Or go to redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Related Topics:
societyamerican red crossred crosshurricane irmacentral valleyfresnoFresno
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