Red Cross volunteers come to help Flint from across the state, country

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FLINT (WJRT) - (01/12/16) - Red Cross volunteers from across the state and around the country are being called in to help with Flint's water emergency.

Since Sunday, volunteers have been deployed to water resource sites to hand out bottles and filters.

Right now, more than 60 Red Cross volunteers are scattered throughout the city. In the coming days we're told even more volunteers could be brought to Flint.

Red Cross teams are meeting several times a day to determine exactly what the need is in the city.

"So it doesn't matter how large the disaster, challenge, or incident is. We are absolutely prepared for the entire situation,” said Kimberly Burton, CEO of the American Red Cross of Michigan.

Burton was up from Detroit Tuesday, seeing for herself how it's going in Flint.

Since Governor Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint about a week ago the Red Cross has been upping their efforts.

"The American Red Cross, we were already here for the past several months when this situation first came to everyone's view,” said Burton.

The water distribution centers that have since been set up are manned by Red Cross Volunteers. Right now about 10% are from out of state, and a lot are from in state.

Lori Shader-Patterson came in from Lansing and has been working at Fire Station Number 6. She says seeing Flint's water emergency in person has been emotional and shocking.

"The young mothers seem to know what is going on and seem concerned and want to learn and that feels good. But the young men, and I don't know if they families at home or not but, they had no knowledge until yesterday,” said Shader-Patterson.

Vera Doyle came up from Ann Arbor and is volunteering at Fire Station Number 1. She'd been hearing about Flint on the news the past couple months, and says now, she's happy to be here in person.

"Well you always feel like you're in the thick of things and you're excited that you can help some people and you know, you get to see the progress and you get to hear the stories and the people they get a little more comfort that there's somebody there and that's really what we're about,” Doyle said.

The Red Cross welcomes local volunteers. If you want to help out, just call 211 to get more information. You can visit the Red Cross location on South Grand Traverse Street in Flint.

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