Neighbors in the Tri-State volunteering on east coast - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Neighbors in the Tri-State volunteering on east coast

Britton Riley, from Henderson, a long way from home in New York. His assignment is transportation, getting fellow volunteers from one place to another. Britton Riley, from Henderson, a long way from home in New York. His assignment is transportation, getting fellow volunteers from one place to another.

Cleanup and recovery continues from Superstorm Sandy which battered the east coast October 29th. 

Many have volunteered their time to help those who lost power, belongings, or worse, their homes.

Some of those volunteers are our neighbors from the Tri-State. 

More than two dozen Red Cross volunteers from our region have deployed out east to help with Sandy disaster relief, and even though it's been several weeks since this disaster, there is still a lot of work to be done and still a lot of need for those volunteers.

A little before 8:00 a.m. and Red Cross volunteer Britton Riley is ready to report for duty.

"Basically, we are at headquarters right now. This is basically the heart of the operation is here in New York City," Riley said.  

He's a long way from his home in Henderson. 

The 20-year-old has been helping with Hurricane Sandy disaster relief for 19 days, first in West Virginia and now in the Big Apple. 

His assignment is transportation, getting fellow volunteers from one place to another.

"We have people that fly in from all over the United States. When they get here, they have to have a way to get from the airport to the HQ here. Then from the HQ out to the service sites where they're out to help people," Riley said.

Some of that coordinating happens in the processing center. 

It's the final stop for Tom Stein, another Red Cross volunteer from Newburgh.

"Considering the magnitude of Hurricane Sandy, I felt it was a wonderful opportunity and there was a strong need for Red Cross volunteers," Stein said.

Tom is finishing paperwork about to ship out after two weeks in New York. He spent most of his time delivering supplies to different communities and shelters.

He saw a lot.

"Damage, homes without electricity. I remember seeing a man pushing a cart with two little Chihuahuas in it and it said help or something like that," Stein said.

Offering that help though was just part of Stein's journey. The camaraderie with other volunteers was also important to him. 

One of Stein's co-workers knew exactly how the storm victims felt. She lost her home to Hurricane Katrina. 

"She was the driver, I was the navigator, so we drove all over Manhattan. We drove all over Long Island. We got lost. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. It was a wonderful experience," Stein tells 14 News.

Hurricane Sandy also hit New Jersey hard and some local volunteers are also helping out there. A shelter opened up last Wednesday in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, where Red Cross volunteer from Henderson, Barbara Dye, is located.

That is the fourth shelter Dye has worked at during her three week volunteer stint with the Red Cross. Her first since signing up two years ago. 

At this shelter, she helps clean and serve meals, but also knows the value of being still and simply lending an ear.

"You listen to their stories and they've all got different stories. Just the tears, you know, just they've lost everything," Dye tells 14 News.

It's heartbreaking, she says, but also inspiring.

"I hope that when I do go home, that I can touch lives at home and be a part of my community and serve my community," Dye said.

No matter what their job, whether working behind a desk, in a vehicle, or at a shelter, These Tri-Staters say they wouldn't trade their time on the east coast. 

"Nobody's out here just to be here, they're out here because they want to help in some way shape or form and help these people restore their lives," Riley said.

If you have any interest in getting involved with the Red Cross, maybe one of these volunteers has inspired you, click here for the Red Cross website. You can also text "red cross" to 90999 to give a $10 donation.

14 News will have another report from New Jersey tonight on 14 News at 10. We caught up with a couple from Evansville who made the long drive out east to deliver supplies collected here in the Tri-State.

Copyright 2012 WFIE. All rights reserved.



Powered by Frankly