Kentucky tornado: Philadelphia-area Red Cross volunteers help tornado victims while on vacation

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – American Red Cross volunteers continue to arrive in Kentucky to lend a hand, including teams from the Philadelphia area.
“Seas of blue tarps and trees are descending everywhere and you can see where it has gone,” said Mary Noll, volunteer and national fleet operations administrator, of the devastation.
The buildings are destroyed down to their foundations. Noll said it was all unrecognizable.

“Kentucky is the worst I have ever seen. I have never seen so much destruction as in Mayfield,” said fellow volunteer and logistics facility manager Larry Daly.

According to the American Red Cross, more than 500 volunteers and staff are in the field, helping to rebuild things while comforting people in the Midwest.
“They have chosen on their own to leave their friends and family behind during the holidays, knowing that they will not be there for Christmas and for (the) New Year,” said Guy Triano, CEO of the Red Cross. US for the Southeastern PA region.

Some volunteers, like Noll who just arrived there, use their own personal losses to support their efforts to help Kentucky people who have lost even more.

SEE ALSO: 2 babies survive Kentucky tornado that swept them away in the bathtub

“I lost my husband nine months ago and I know there are a lot of people who cannot deploy because it is a holiday. I had nothing to hold back and I know that that’s what my husband would like me to do – go out there and be there for others, ”Noll explained.

She said she and her husband had dedicated their retirement to helping others in disaster situations. She knows her husband is watching over her and those who are suffering in Kentucky.

“The people here really appreciate what we sacrifice and there is nothing better than giving your time, love and care to those who are in great pain,” Noll said.
Other volunteers will be leaving to help from next year. They are expected to stay until January.

If you’re able to help, American Red Cross officials have said the best and fastest way to do it is online.

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