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Wednesday, October 8, 2003
RI Red Cross volunteers return home after assisting with Hurricane Isabel aftermath

American Red Cross of Rhode Island volunteers assisting down South with the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel are home today, after serving nearly three weeks in areas hardest hit by the hurricane. These local disaster volunteers are trained to assist with national disasters when needed and leave work and family for weeks at a time to assist those in need.

Joe Farrington of Blackstone, MA, Ashley Poland of Wakefield, RI, and Suzanne Turcotte of Lincoln, RI, worked at a Family Services Call Center in Falls Church, VA, where they assisted families with food, clothing and shelter assistance. They handled over 38,000 calls for assistance

Arthur Entwhistle of Burrillville, RI, drove the Chapter's Emergency Response Vehicle direct to Greenville, SC and used it to shuttle food and other necessary supplies to residents of the hurricane-ravaged area. Carol Anderheggen of Portsmouth, RI was deployed to North Carolina to assist with relief efforts in that area.

"It was a very positive learning experience," commented disaster volunteer Suzanne Turcotte.  "The Call Center was a big operation and ran very efficiently, 24 hours a day," Turcotte continued. 

Volunteer Joe Farrington agreed. "It was great to be on the other side and learn the inside of the Red Cross, rather than being out in the field as I usually am," he stated.   

The Red Cross of Rhode Island typically spends $1,000 per family of four that it assists. All Red Cross assistance is free, thanks to contributions from individuals and organizations. The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on private donations to provide emergency assistance to Rhode Islanders in crisis.

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