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Baltimore-based volunteers assisting thousands impacted by deadly tornadoes in KY & TN

Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-14 17:11:14-05

BALTIMORE — Troubling images depict the reality victims in Kentucky and Tennessee face after deadly storms.

Whole communities were flattened by disastrous tornadoes that killed at least 88 people across five states, 74 in Kentucky alone.

The storm's path cut across Arkansas to Illinois leaving a deadly path of destruction behind as authorities in Kentucky brace for a rising death toll.

"There is a real family there is a real person there’s a friend behind all of those piles of rubble. Somebody’s mother or father or sister somebody’s pet. There’s been a lot of loss, loss of life, loss of property," Ashley Henyan told WMAR-2 News.

Just a week and a half ahead of Christmas, 16 volunteers from the American Red Cross here in Baltimore are lending a hand to the nearly 26,000 homes and businesses without electricity and 27,000 without water or under a boil water advisory.

Many from the American Red cross volunteers will serve in various capacities meeting the immediate needs of those suffering.

"In disaster mental health. Some are trained in spiritual care. Some might be working with our government partners and many are working in shelters helping to feed individuals that have nowhere else to turn," Henyan explained.

Half of the 16-member team are emergency response vehicle drivers heading into impacted areas armed with supplies, food water and most importantly compassion helping to make a tumultuous holiday season a little more bearable.

"They’ve left their own families their own jobs and they’re doing this here less than two weeks before Christmas time. That’s pretty incredible. It takes a special person to be a red cross volunteer," said Henyan.

Not everyone can be like those volunteers taking nearly two weeks off from their jobs and families to assist.

For those looking for ways to help, American Red Cross officials encourages people to make monetary donations as well as blood donations.

The blood donation sites in the areas impacted by the storm are closed and rely heavy on outside donations to sustain their blood supplies.

For information, visit here.