New Jersey volunteers head to Midwest for tornado relief efforts
Six Red Cross volunteers from New Jersey, including a couple from Ewing, are being deployed to the Midwest and southern regions to help with disaster relief efforts following the recent deadly tornadoes.
Margaret and John Delaney are two of many volunteers missing Christmas with their families to help other families in the tornado-devastated areas who desperately need their help.
In all the years the Delaneys have been Red Cross volunteers, this is their first deployment together.
The two-week deployment to Kentucky means the couple will miss Christmas with their families in what would have probably been their first Christmas gathering in two years.
“We'll miss it, but they all know what we're doing," says John Delaney.
The Red Cross has about 300 volunteers from across the country en route to areas hardest hit by last week's tornadoes.
"I just hope that they all know that they're not alone, that there are a lot of people out there that want to help them, and we'll be there,” says Margaret Delaney.
For those who want to help from a distance, the Red Cross says financial and blood donations are the current priority.
"There are also many great agencies who do collect many items, physical items for people, but for Red Cross, to be able to do its work and be able to help people directly with financial assistance to they can purchase what they need and of course giving blood,” says Rosie Taravella, regional CEO of the Red Cross NJ.
The Red Cross says there has been a shortage of volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic and that it makes it harder for the current volunteers because there is a bigger chance that they will get burnt out.