Local Red Cross Volunteers Eager to Help in Washington

By Jonathan Cooper | jcooper@kq2.com

Published 07/27 2014 10:42PM

Updated 07/27 2014 11:02PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) As wildfires rampage parts of the west, the Red Cross is there to help.

"I want to help people," said Terrence Harrington, a local volunteer. "I like helping people."

Two local volunteers from northwest Missouri left for Washington last week.

"There's a lot of people needing the help up here," said April Miller, a volunteer from Maysville.

Miller and Harrington are in Pateros, Washington, a town in the northern part of the state.

"This town that I'm in has basically been destroyed," said Miller.

About 300 homes have been lost in the fires. Washington Governor Jay Inslee surveyed the damage last week.

"These fires are going to consume us much more rapidly, much more frequently, and with greater intensity. And we are going to have to build our infrastructure to respond to them," he said.

To help with all of those in need, the Red Cross has called in help from around the country.

"We're providing services for immediate and long term needs, whether that be for clothing or whatever the need," said Miller.

The Red Cross has a shelter in place for families displaced by the fires. Miller and Harrington are providing emotional support and basic needs.

"Any type of immediate needs, we are providing," she said.

Miller first helped out during Hurricane Sandy.

Harrington was inspired to help after the Joplin tornado.

They both say the people are what make their experiences so rewarding.

"The people's reactions are just awesome," Miller said. "They're very grateful and thankful for what we are doing. They are very welcoming to us and we are just amazed at how this town has pulled together."

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