Regional Red Cross still needs volunteers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

By Caleb Frey

Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – The Southeast Louisiana American Red Cross chapter is still feeling the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita three months after the storm as they struggle to recover from the loss of thousands of volunteers.

&#8220We are still in the process of trying to get in touch with volunteers,” Southeast Louisiana Red Cross Volunteer Director Lou Harris said. &#8220Before the storms our database of volunteers was about 2,000. We’ve only been able to get a hold of a couple hundred since the storms.”

Red Cross volunteers provide meals, shelter, clothing and counseling to victims of disasters and emergencies. The Red Cross also needs volunteers to perform clerical work as well as staff various Red Cross projects. The Health and Safety Department seeks instructors and leaders to help with first aid/CPR, water safety and child safety.

Even though the Southeast chapter has been lacking of help, their services are still being provided thanks to help from around the nation.

The great thing about Red Cross is it’s a national organization,” Harris said. &#8220Our services aren’t not being provided, we would just like to replenish the volunteers in our community.”

According to Harris, Red Cross has sent over 30,000 volunteers to the Southeast from other parts of the country to help.

&#8220You look at the threat of another Katrina, and you know we just need more and more volunteers,” Harris said.

Although finding new volunteers for the Southeast Red Cross chapter is a priority, Harris stresses that the safety of former volunteers is also very important.

&#8220We’re working every avenue we can to get a hold of people,” Harris said. &#8220We want to make sure our volunteers are safe.”

Harris strongly encourages all former volunteers to check in with the Red Cross by phone at 1-800-229-8191 or email Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Hebert at For more information on volunteering visit The Red Cross on the web at