Ohioans help disaster victims in different ways

Zach Wilson

Hurricane Katrina completely destroyed an entire section of the United States, but it did not mute the resolve of those wishing to help victims of the disaster.

Many in Ohio are finding ways to give back to victims.

The Summit County Chapter of the American Red Cross has been working tirelessly to help in any way possible since the disaster smashed into New Orleans and beyond last week.

According to the Summit County Chapter of the American Red Cross’ Web site, 275 Red Cross shelters are open in nine states, housing close to 76,400 evacuees.

But the outpouring of assistance is not only found on a national level. The Summit County Chapter is accepting a wide range of aid, all of which will lessen the pain felt by Hurricane Katrina.

“As a student, money is an issue,” freshman nursing major Matt Heckerd said. Because of this, Heckerd said that many must find alternate methods to help those in need.

Jackie Zavodney of the Summit County Red Cross says blood is being given, as well as such things as clothes, food, toys, blankets and books. A wide range of items are needed for the victims in the South.

Another option for those looking to make a difference would be to train to become a volunteer in a disaster situation. The Summit County chapter is holding a training session for all interested at 8 p.m. today. Sessions will also be held on Monday and Tuesday. Any questions for these sessions can be answered at (330) 535-CARE.

Heckerd said that other service organizations will surely begin to open in the coming weeks, allowing more training opportunities for people hoping to help those in need.

People in Ohio, as well as the rest of the nation, see how large of a disaster Katrina is. Approximately 400,000 jobs will be lost in the wake of Katrina, and around $150 billion in damages will be left in the hands of many citizens, experts say.

With damages this large, it is absolutely amazing to see the outpouring of care given to those in need, even in Ohio, Zavodney said.

Contact correspondent Zach Wilson at [email protected].