|Some of the flooding immediately after Isaac hit Louisiana|
Photo courtesy Red Cross
This was Colca's second deployment, and says he saw more devastation from Isaac than he did following flooding in New Jersey a few years ago. But as he found in New Jersey, people in the Gulf were happy to see the Red Cross on the scene.
"Even in McDonald's, people would come up and thank you," Colca said. "When we were serving food from the ERV, people wanted to give me money. Of course I told them no thanks, all our disaster assistance is free, but some of them said they would make a donation to the Red Cross as soon as they got things back together."
Because of the ever-changing situation, Colca rarely spent two nights in the same place during his week and a half deployment, as the Red Cross shifted focus to areas of greatest need. Despite never knowing where he was going to spend the night, Colca says it was happy with his experience in the Gulf. "My supervisor was very organized and kept everyone calm through all the changes. We worked well with the Texas Southern Baptists, who cooked most of the food we served, and we were able to leave any leftover food with local churches. It actually was very rewarding!"
|Pete Swales (middle) of Springville, NY with two|
international volunteers from Mexico getting ready to serve
meals from an ERV in Covington, LA.
24 WNY volunteers were part of relief efforts.
If you'd like to support the continuing relief efforts in the Gulf, or help ensure the Red Cross is ready the next time disaster strikes, please make a donation to the Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS, visiting www.redcross.org, or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation (charges will appear on your cellphone bill).