Release: Polk County Chapter 09.15.08

September 15, 2008

Polk Red Cross sends total of seven volunteers to Texas

Polk County Chapter thanks local volunteers for deploying, or staying behind to assist locally if needed.

Monday, Sept. 15, 2008 – Another three local Red Cross volunteers will leave out of Orlando today to help the relief effort in Texas after Hurricane Ike.

Over this past weekend, the American Red Cross Polk County Chapter has been busy pulling volunteers to send as part of a massive deployment of volunteers from all over America to join more than 2,000 volunteers already stationed in Texas providing sheltering and mobile feeding in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Ike.

The three local volunteers leaving today include Linda Haskins, Daphne Gray, and Shirley Bullock. Already in Texas are Anan Smith, Dan Sebright, and husband and wife Russell and Bobbi Miller, all of whom left either on Thursday before the storm arrived, on Sunday, or early Monday morning.

Local chapter volunteers gave today’s deploying volunteers a personal thank you at the airport. Volunteers deploying to Texas will sacrifice the comfort of their homes to deploy to an area that is experiencing numerous hardships and where living conditions are less than favorable.

“The Polk County Chapter is proud to endorse their deployment to assist the residents of Texas in their time of need,” said Linda Scialo, Programs and Services Director for the Polk County Chapter.

“For volunteers who are unable to deploy, a special thank you goes out to you for remaining behind with me to assist in Polk County, if necessary,  allowing others to deploy,” Scialo said. “You are all valuable to the Polk County Chapter. Keep up the good work.”

The Red Cross estimates that the cost for Hurricane Gustav will range from $40-70 million. The cost for Hurricane Ike could easily exceed that cost. A national fundraising campaign is underway to raise an initial $100 million to help victims of recent disasters, especially since the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund is depleted from a record number of tornadoes this year, the worst flooding in the Midwest in 15 years, an early wildfire season and an active hurricane season that is not over yet.

The Disaster Relief Fund gives people the chance to help anywhere in the nation. To ensure the Red Cross continues its help for disaster victims, we need your help. We are calling on everyone to support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which allows the Red Cross to provide help whenever and wherever disasters occur.

For more information about the American Red Cross response to Hurricane Ike, visit the online newsroom at For information on how to prepare for a tropical storm or hurricane, please visit, or en Español – To help the Red Cross respond to this and other major disasters, donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-REDCROSS or visiting

Additional resources:


Photo: Hurricane Ike-Monroe County, FL 9.8.2008

September 8, 2008

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Hurricane Ike- Monroe, FL 9.8.2008

Ike shelter sign

Hurricane Ike- Florida 9.8.2008