Virginians headed out to provide relief to communities impacted by deadly tornadoes

The Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross's emergency response vehicle being sent to...
The Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross's emergency response vehicle being sent to Kentucky.(wwbt)
Published: Dec. 12, 2021 at 6:54 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 12, 2021 at 6:55 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginians are already stepping up to help those impacted by the deadly tornadoes that destroyed many communities in multiple states over the weekend.

The local chapters of the American Red Cross responded within hours of when initial reports of damage came in and nationally the Redcross has already delivered 200 blood donations to area hospitals.

The Richmond chapter of the American Red Cross will be deploying volunteers along with its emergency response vehicle to deliver supplies to victims in Kentucky on Monday.

Jonathan McNamara, with the American Red Cross, says they’ve already had supplies on stand-by before the event to help volunteers support communities impacted for the next three weeks.

“Delivering relief supplies, serving meals, psychological first aid, actually sending some of our health services workers to make sure people can replace eyeglasses, medications,” McNamara said. “As well as dealing with the mental health side of these events which is so impactful.”

Due to the size of the damage, McNamara says a lot more volunteers will be needed to help these areas recover.

“It’s going to take a lot from not just the Red Cross but many other organizations that are in those communities to make sure that we can address multiple needs that have come out of this situation,” McNamara said.

One Virginia nonprofit already started providing relief on Sunday.

“We sent a truck out this morning loaded with blessing buckets and supplies to Arkansas and our immediate response team will leave tomorrow morning with a semi loaded with chainsaws and equipment,” Randy Johnson, with God’s Pit Crew, said.

God’s Pit Crew is a Danville nonprofit that’s been helping impacted communities pick up the pieces over the last 20 years after a disaster.

The crew of volunteers is in contact with a church in Mayfield, Kentucky where they will be helping remove debris, tarp roofs, and cut down trees.

Its work Johnson says will not just take a few weeks but months.

“We just finished rebuilding a home last week in Canton North Carolina from the major floods that happened there,” Johnson said. “So I’m sure our rebuilding team a few months down the road will be in Mayfield Kentucky or somewhere in that area helping to build homes back as well.”

The American Red Cross says before the tornado outbreak they were already dealing with a historically low blood supply. They ask if you would like to help those impacted by this disaster to donate blood or sign up to volunteer.

You can also support God’s Pit Crews effort by clicking here.

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