Area American Red Cross volunteers sent to help Sandy victims

GREENSBORO, N.C.  –- Area American Red Cross volunteers have been deployed up and down the East Coast to assist victims of the former hurricane Sandy.

Sandy slammed the East Coast and local volunteers have seen and heard sad stories coming into the shelters they have set up. 

“Just last night we had 11,000 people in shelters. The night before we had 3,400, so who knows that could continue to go up if the power stays out longer,” explained Melanie McDonough, with the Red Cross Heart of Carolina Region. 

Volunteers have been told to prepare to deal with rain, wind, and even snow in some cases. 

Sandy has made coordinating help a challenge. 

“This has been very strange because we may have volunteers driving up there in a rented minivan, I don’t think we’ve ever had to do that,” said McDonough. 

Jim Guidone a volunteer from Greensboro is set up in Delaware. 

“These people are very resilient. They’re sad on one hand that… but very thankful that they and their families are safe — they will live to come back another day,” said Guidone. 

Quinton Macon has been anxiously waiting to head up north to help and on Wednesday morning he will be on his way to New Jersey. He says this will be the largest disaster he’s volunteered for.

“Just seeing some of those city names mentioned in New Jersey, wow, kind of brought it home, absolutely,” explained Macon who has been to the state before. 

In preparation for Sandy, the American Red Cross cancelled 300 blood drives along the East Coast — a loss of about 8,000 pints of blood. 

It’s a situation the Red Cross doesn’t like to be in. 

“Whatever you’re able to do rolling up your sleeve, writing a check whatever you’re able to do it definitely makes an exponential difference to those affected,” said McDonough.

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