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      NW Ohio Red Cross needs volunteers

      With hurricane Isaac battering the Gulf Coast, the American Red Cross has been called on to help with relief efforts.

      25 to 30 volunteers from Northwest Ohio have been sent South to help, but the entirely volunteer organization, are in need of more able bodies.

      "We do not have as many volunteers right now on the disaster response team in that area as we would like. So we've been going out and letting folks know what it takes to become a volunteer," says Todd James, Executive Director of the ed Cross in Hancock County.

      James says that area branches are in need of more than just large scale disaster volunteers. He says there is a great need when local disasters happen as well.

      Red Cross volunteer Dave Amerine says, "It's usually fire, but it could be flooding or some other kind of problem. When they have no place to turn, the Red Cross is there to give them temporary food, temporary shelter, temporary clothing."

      The Red Cross offers its volunteers specialized training to deal with situations like a hurricane, as well as many other small scale, and large scale disasters.

      Though there is no pay, and the work is often exhausting, those involved say the emotional reward they get from helping others is the reason they do it.

      Todd James speaks from experience when describing his own volunteering, "Working 18-20 hour days and eating on the fly just like everybody else. And at the end of the three weeks or whenever their time is up, they're tired, but they're coming home knowing they made a real difference in a lot of people's lives.

      Red Cross encourages those who may not be able to leave work for extended periods to volunteer, to remember the local volunteering. Which is often overlooked as a needed response, and requires much less committment.

      "I used to work 80 hours a week," says Amerine. "Now that I am retired, I have more time to volunteer."

      If you would like to get involved with the Red Cross, just visit redcross.org, and type in your zip code to get all the information on your area Red Cross locations.