‘This is What We Train For’: Northland Red Cross volunteers deploy for tornado relief

Published: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:51 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 6:53 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 DULUTH) - As states pick up the pieces after Friday’s string of deadly tornadoes, three Northland Red Cross volunteers headed down to Kentucky Monday to help in whatever way they can.

Rod Winters and his wife are two of those volunteers.

Since the tornadoes touched down, the Winters’ watched in horror as the damage in the south came to light.

“It’s just horrendous what people are dealing with down there,” said Winters.

The Winters’ have been Red Cross volunteers for the past six years.

Rod is a master in sheltering, and his wife is a registered nurse.

“We believe in the Red Cross mission to alleviate human suffering, and there is a lot of suffering going on down there, so we are going to go down, spend a couple of weeks and see what we can do to help out,” said Winters.

This isn’t Winters’ first deployment.

They have volunteered after hurricanes, California wildfires, and most recently, the Greenwood Fire that burned over the summer near Isabella, Minnesota.

“The Red Cross plays a really important role along with local emergency management partners, other non-profits, and Government agencies in not only delivering the immediate needs for people but delivering hope,” said Dan Williams, Executive Director of the Northland Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Williams said the Red Cross’s work is vital to people impacted by disaster, and help is still needed.

“We are looking for both volunteers that have the ability to leave on short notice and go somewhere for two weeks, but also people that make a difference locally,” said Williams. “There are a lot of opportunities for people to get involved with the Red Cross, so reach out if you have a heart for doing that.”

The Winters’ are thankful for the opportunity to once again use their skills for good.

“It sounds a little odd, but we are looking forward to going down because this is what we train for, and this is why we are with the Red Cross,” said Winters.

Williams says if you would like to help those impacted by the tornadoes, do not send items like blankets or clothing.

Instead, donate to disaster relief organizations like the Red Cross.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, click here.

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