Local Volunteers Head South

By  | 

In retirement, Tony Schuster is ready to give even more of himself than he did in the working world.

"Retirement is a new career."

This is a very important business trip.

Tony and his wife volunteer with the Red Cross, and they're headed south to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"It's a privilege for me to have the opportunity to go help them," Tony's wife Nancy said.

"We think we know enough with the support of the red cross organization to contribute," Tony said.

They went through mass care training.

"They pushed us, made us work."

On the Gulf Coast they'll bring food and cleaning supplies to storm victims, and find shelter for them.

"We look forward to doing it together, if we're left together."

They'll fly into Jackson, Mississippi, but after that, they may be separated for most of about three weeks they'll spend down there.

"The important thing is to get them local," said Amy Doughty of the Chippewa Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, "and to have them be flexible."

Besides, as they're working to rebuild lives, they'll establish new connections with other volunteers, a vital part of disaster relief for all parts of the country.

This is the first time Tony and his wife will be a direct part of that.

"I can't say it sounds like an adventure anymore-there's just too many people suffering down there," Tony said.

If you want to help, Red Cross officials are looking for donations. You can make yours at 1-800-HELP-NOW, or on the Red Cross website www.redcross.org

In the Chippewa Valley call: 1-800-261-4182
In the La Crosse Area call: 1-800-837-6313

You can also donate a check made out to "American Red Cross" at any RCU location.