Local Red Cross Volunteers Respond To San Diego Firestorm - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/25/07- East Texas

Local Red Cross Volunteers Respond To San Diego Firestorm

Awaiting her flight to San Diego Thursday, Nelda Melton said she's not letting her age slow her down.

"People will ask 'Are you 75?' I say 'Yeah, I'm 75'. And they say, 'Well, you're going out there and you don't really know what to expect'," said Melton, a Red Cross volunteer.  "Well, we're not going to be in any danger, and I thought if there's anything I can do I should go."

Melton said as soon as she heard about the firestorm and the millions of people without homes, she wanted to help.

"I woke up Thursday morning enthused and ready to go," said Melton.  "I know it will be hard work. There'll be a lot of stress and tension and we'll be sleeping in a shelter, on a cot, and we'll eat what the evacuees eat."

Working directly with evacuees, Melton hopes to bring them encouragement. Another East Texas volunteer already in San Diego said efforts are going well.

"So far it's going quite smoothly from what I can tell from the people coming and going from the center," said Paul Saidak, Red Cross volunteer. "Other than the fact that the President came out and they tied up the roads. That made it a little difficult to get in and out."

Yet it's still too early to tell just how much damage there is. Many are still not able to return to what is left of their homes. One thing is certain, many more volunteers will be needed during this long road to recovery.

"I really would encourage any seniors who are maybe sitting at home waiting on their kids to come in and do whatever for them to volunteer," said Melton.  "If they will just think about it, they can be doing something to help someone else and they would enjoy it."

Courtney Lane, Reporting.  clane@kltv.com  

Powered by Frankly