Central Mass. Red Cross Volunteers Get Ready to Head for Okla. - NECN

Central Mass. Red Cross Volunteers Get Ready to Head for Okla.



    Central Mass. Red Cross volunteers get ready to head for Okla.

    Organizer says they will help with disaster relief, provide emotional support (Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014)

    (NECN: Kristen Carosa) - Janet Kingsbury Warren spent Tuesday on the phone lining up Red Cross volunteers to head to Oklahoma.

    "I know how chaotic it must be - I know how important it is going to be for them to know that the whole country cares about them and that we will be there to help them with whatever they need," she says.

    Janet says she has dozens of people right in central Massachusetts ready and waiting.

    She says she expects a call within the next 48 hours for her volunteers to deploy.

    "We know that they need health care professionals there and so we have made it a priority to call down our trained list of health care professionals to deploy," Janet says.

    The Red Cross of Central Massachusetts will help with disaster relief, making sure they have the supplies that they need, including blood.

    She says one of the most important things that Red Cross volunteers will do is provide emotional support.

    "It's very important to be able to turn on a dime - our volunteers can do that and have done that - we experienced this just two years ago," Janet says.

    "It's unbelievable - I mean we got hit - they got crushed," Lester Twarowski, owner of the Village Green Family Campground, says.

    Twarowski's family campground in Brimfield was completely destroyed during a tornado in 2011. One person was even killed at the campground.

    Twarowski says he's still rebuilding and says he remembers how important the Red Cross was for him immediately after the disaster.

    "The hand holding is more important than you think - you have to be constantly reminded that there is hope and that there is a better day coming," he says.

    And that's exactly what central Massachusetts Red Cross volunteers say they'll do in the coming weeks for those affected in Oklahoma.

    "It's heart breaking for us. We have been through the same thing here. we need to focus on the human element. We all need to find a way that we can help. It's the best thing for all of us to focus on right now," Janet says.