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Their stories: Sandy volunteers live to give

  • Experts in various fields descend on Northeast just to help
  • 'Another way to help my fellow man,' says Red Cross helper
Their stories: Sandy volunteers live to give

Photos: Inside a Red Cross shelter

Photos: Inside a Red Cross shelter

While much of the Northeast begins agonizing recovery efforts in the wake of Sandy, the kindness of strangers is coming to the fore.

Across the nation, people are dedicating their time, energy -- and their lives -- to go to storm-afflicted areas. Many of them are experts in various disciplines -- electrical, mechanical engineering -- but many are not.

Tonya Sullivan of Sherrills Ford, North Carolina, told HLN that she was traveling to New York City with her husband to help with the storm.  

"I am an emergency-trained RN, and offer many skill sets for the people in need," she said. "Whether volunteering in a shelter, serving food in a soup
kitchen or cleaning up debris I hope to lend a hand to those in need this weekend."


Then there's C.J. Grove of New Mexico, one of many volunteers prepared to fly out to assist in the storm cleanup.

"My bags are packed, I'm ready to go. I'm just sitting around waiting for that phone call to make my arrangements to fly out," Grove told Albuquerque news station KOB.

She said she volunteered in Mississippi during Hurricane Isaac over the summer and was ready to do it again. "Being out on deployment makes you very compassionate toward these people because you've lived through this with people before, so you know what it's like for them," she told KOB.


In South Carolina, Aiken County chapter of the Red Cross members Becky Fitzpatrick, 65, and Wendell Byars, 73, have traveled to Ashburn, Virginia, to assist in the storm.

“I'm a member of the Red Cross, and when they call, we go,” Byars told the Aiken Standard newspaper. “This is just another way to help my fellow man.” 

“I feel like this is the place I'm supposed to be,” Fitzpatrick told the paper. “I just feel the urge to go out there and help people. The Red Cross is a good organization, and I'm proud to be a member.”


Red Cross volunteer Shane Halbrook of Lafayette, Indiana, left Sunday for parts on the East Coast unknown -- the only thing for certain was that she would be helping people in desperate need.

"Right now we don't know exactly what we're going to do," Halbrook told HLN affiliate WLFI.

Read more: Volunteers needed -- how you can help

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