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Red Cross Bay Area Volunteer Deploys to North Dakota, Provides Mass Care to Vulnerable Residents
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By Kelly Gorton, Marketing Communications Intern, American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter
April 15, 2009
Marin County volunteer John Woodbridge was sent on his first mass care deployment to help the people affected by North Dakota floods last month. Woodbridge departed on March 25 and was immediately put to work setting up shelters, serving up hot meals and helping people evacuate their homes to safety.  

Woodbridge helped to shelter more than 200 people, all of whom had special needs. Due to the serious nature of the floods, Red Cross disaster teams worked hard to first evacuate the more vulnerable communities, such as those living in nursing homes.

“It was the middle of the night and there were people in wheelchairs, with oxygen tanks and on gurneys,” recalled Woodbridge. “These people are not self sufficient.” And it was up to volunteers like Woodbridge to assist the evacuees with all their basic needs, giving them three meals a day, helping them into their cots and just talking to them about the situation.

Woodbridge was thrilled with his first mass care deployment commenting that it was a terrific experience with a great, cohesive team of people all ready to lend a hand. He said the clients were most definitely appreciative. “They were hugging us all as we got the last people off to more suitable shelters for their needs,” he added.  

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