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American Red Cross of the Coastal Bend looking for volunteers ahead of hurricane season

The Coastal Bend has some volunteers and a handful have already been deployed to current disasters around the country.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The American Red Cross of the Coastal Bend is beating the drum for volunteers for the upcoming hurricane season, which starts June 1. 

The pandemic caused people to worry about dealing with strangers and other issues such as registration, that had to be completed online. 

Cynthia Flores has been volunteering with the Red Cross for the last couple of years. She said that the choice to become a volunteer comes from a special place in her heart. 

"I went through Hurricane Harvey, and I saw a lot of damage," Flores said. "A lot of people who lost a lot, they lost homes. And it just made me want to be there for people. To be there to help in any way I could."

The organization is looking for volunteers for the upcoming hurricane season and the need is greater because of the last couple of years.

"We took a hit. Because a lot of volunteers are still reluctant to want to come out when you have a disaster. And many times it's boots on the ground," Alex Garcia, Executive Director of the Red Cross of the Coastal Bend. "And so what we're trying to do is number one, we're saying you can still volunteer. You can do it virtually but for those who don't want to do it virtually we're going out there trying to find volunteers that may want to be boots on the ground."

The Coastal Bend has some volunteers and a handful have already been deployed to current disasters around the country. 

"Right now we have a disaster in Kansas," said Annette Gomez, Regional Deployment Lead for the Red Cross. "We have another disaster in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Then we have the fires in New Mexico and Arizona."

Gomez said volunteers don't have to worry about being called on more than they can handle.

"I'll call them up and I'll ask them, hey. Would you like to deploy to Kansas? No I have doctor's appointments, I have a vacation, I have a gentleman who's getting ready to go overseas. So that's all they have to do," Gomez said. 

For more information on the Red Cross and how to become a volunteer, click here.  

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