MA Red Cross Readies Volunteers For Texas

Aug 30, 2017

Several dozen Red Cross volunteers from Massachusetts are already working in Texas to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, with more on the way.

Kim Goulette of the Red Cross of Central Massachusetts says volunteers go through extensive training and could serve in several roles, depending on their expertise.

"They can do...sheltering, and some would be experienced in feeding. We would have our mobile feeding units down there."

Four volunteers from central Massachusetts are already in Texas.

From western Massachusetts, Red Cross disaster program manager Mary Nathan said six volunteers will be in place by Wednesday.

"Most of our volunteers will be gone for two weeks at a time, and after that two weeks is over we replace them with other volunteers," Nathan said. "So we're kind of getting ready for the second and third rounds at this point."

Nathan said new volunteers must fill out an application and get a background check. They'll need to attend an in-person training -- such as one taking place this Saturday in Springfield -- and do some volunteer work around western Massachusetts first. But within a few weeks, she said, they could be sent to Texas.

This report comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.