Rhode Island Red Cross volunteers deployed for Hurricane Laura

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE): Volunteers from the Rhode Island Red Cross have been deployed for Hurricane Laura.

4 Rhode Island volunteers are in California, Texas, and Louisiana, helping with disaster relief efforts.

Due to the pandemic, it’s not all boots on the ground. They are deploying people virtually as well.

Phil Stocking, Senior Director of Disaster Cycle Services for the Rhode Island Red Cross, said COVID-19 forced them to think outside the box.

“Do things that don’t change our level of service, in terms of the clients,” Stocking said. “But how can we effectively utilize our volunteers, their skill sets, and still deliver compassionate humanitarian service?” Stocking said.

That’s why they decided to expand their virtual outreach. 3 Rhode Island volunteers are helping operations virtually for Hurricane Laura.

Henry Lesieur is one of those volunteers.

“Ask them how they are doing and give them resources locally,” Lesieur said. “Sometimes what they really need is a way to get clothes.”

Lesieur is a psychologist and is a disaster mental health volunteer for the American Red Cross.

“I’ll talk to them for as long as they need,” Lesieur said. “Sometimes, they just need to talk either because they are totally stressed out, don’t know what to do, and lost everything.”

Although Lesieur said he won’t physically be there, his mission will not change.

“Help them get through the chaos and trauma and increase resilience,” Lesieur said.

If you want to become a volunteer click here. 



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