Red Cross needs volunteers to help with aftermath of tornadoes, flooding

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Just in the last week, there have been several disasters — tornadoes in Dayton, Ohio and the flooding in our area a few days ago. The organization that helps others afterward is also in need of help.

The American Red Cross can never have too many volunteers. If you’re willing and have four hours a month to spare, it could really use your help.

“The more volunteers we have, the more help we can give to people that need it,” said Gary Offerdahl, a Red Cross volunteer.

Offerdahl also serves as the nonprofit’s smoke alarm liason.

“We save lives,” he said.

He’s also part of the team that helps people after house fires.

“If you put yourself in their place, just devastating to lose everything,” Offerdahl said.

His wife, Karen Conklin, is the executive director for the Lake to River Chapter. She said after Offerdahl retired, he was trying to find something to fill his time. So he became a volunteer.

“I’ve seen an amazing change in him and how he looks at the world. He’s making a difference,” Conklin said.

Right now, the organization has about 200 volunteers in Ashtabula, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, but it needs more.

“There’s never too many volunteers, let’s put it that way,” Conklin said.

Currently, volunteers from northeast Ohio are helping in Dayton, as well as other states impacted by tornadoes. They’re also working with the EMA to assess damage from Tuesday’s flooding in Boardman, Poland and Canfield.

“When people see things on the news about the need and our community right now with the flooding, then they immediately say, ‘How can we help?’ Well, the easiest way to help is to become a Red Cross volunteer,” Conklin said.

If you’d like to be a volunteer, you can sign up on the Red Cross’ website or call the Belmont Avenue office at 330-392-2551.

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