Red Cross volunteers from across the Midwest are headed south to help residents recover from Hurricane Katrina. Bobbie Bishop, spokeswoman for the agency’s central Iowa chapter, says thousands of people across Louisiana, Florida and elsewhere could use a hand. In the nine-state Midwest region, more than 500 volunteers have either been deployed or they’re enroute. Solid numbers aren’t in for Iowa yet, but Bishop says dozens of Iowans are going south to respond to this disaster. In the Red Cross’ Midwest region, there are 41 emergency response vehicles or ERVs. Bishop says 37 of those big vans have already left or are leaving very soon. The ERVs provide meals, snacks and bottled water to victims, workers and anyone else, as well as emotional support to people who were effected by the storms and those who are helping to clean up. Six Iowa ERVs are responding — from Dubuque, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Waterloo and the Quad Cities. Bishop says the Red Cross teams are going to a variety of destinations. Most of the volunteers are headed to Mississippi and Louisiana though some have already left for Florida. For Iowans who would like to help, Bishop says money is the best way. Call 800-HELP NOW for more information.
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