Two Local Volunteers Deployed to Aid Red Cross Relief Efforts in Missouri

May 23, 2011 Updated May 23, 2011 at 5:12 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Two Local Volunteers Deployed to Aid Red Cross Relief Efforts in Missouri

May 23, 2011 Updated May 23, 2011 at 5:12 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Just hours after a series of devastating tornadoes swept through the Midwest Sunday night, the American Red Cross opened shelters in Missouri and Minnesota to help those whose homes were damaged or destroyed.

And two volunteers from the Greater Buffalo Chapter have been deployed to Joplin, Missouri to assist in those relief efforts.

Janet Bardee of Kenmore flew to Joplin earlier this afternoon, where she will be joined tomorrow afternoon by Peggy McGee-Smith, also of Kenmore. Both Bardee and Smith will work as Disaster Mental Health volunteers, helping counsel those who may have lost loved ones and/or their homes as a result of this storm.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter in hard-hit Joplin shortly after the tornado struck on Sunday. That shelter, located at Missouri Southern State University, had approximately 110 people on Sunday night, and can hold up to 1,000 people.

Currently, hundreds of relief supplies are being moved from Red Cross warehouses to Joplin and other affected areas, including comfort kits, tarps, coolers, rakes and other cleanup supplies. The Red Cross also opened a shelter in Minneapolis, where 200 people spent the night following the tornadoes there.

As the Red Cross responds in the Midwest, it continues its relief operations across the South in response to April’s tornadoes and the continued flooding along the Mississippi River. Since March 31, Red Cross disaster workers have provided thousands of overnight stays in shelters, distributed thousands of cleanup and comfort kits, and served more than 1.8 million meals and snacks. Fourteen volunteers and staff members from the Greater Buffalo Chapter have been deployed to various regions in the South to assist in those efforts.

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help in times of disaster. Individuals wishing to support the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts can make a donation by:

• Texting the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to send a $10 donation. The charge will appear on your next cell phone bill
• Calling 1-800-REDCROSS
• Visiting www.redcross.org
• Mailing a donation to: American Red Cross, Greater Buffalo Chapter-30
PO Box 1845
Albany, NY 12201-1845