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Red Cross volunteers from Tucson to help in Florida following Hurricane Ian

Red Cross Volunteers Hurricane Ian Response
Posted at 4:47 PM, Sep 30, 2022

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — With a bag and one-way ticket in hand, two volunteers from the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross got ready to board a plane to Florida.

"I sat down and rearranged my life for a couple of weeks and committed that this was something I wanted to do," said Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross volunteer Vanessa Perry.

Perry has volunteered with the American Red Cross since 2013 and has experience in responding to natural disasters.

"It really opened my eyes to just the amount of sheer devastation and the community impact that it has. These are real people's lives that are impacted. It's not just something that I see on the news," continued Perry.

Perry will be able to serve the people of Southwest Florida in a powerful way.

"As a Disaster Mental Health Counselor, I'm charged with just checking in on people. As you can imagine, it's been really devastating to lose your possessions. Some people's lives have been lost. They had their whole life uprooted," explained Perry.

Military veteran Len Utt is volunteering with the American Red Cross for the very first time on this trip.

"My primary position in Florida will be to distribute emergency supplies, such as food, water and whatever else the community needs out there," said Utt.

Utt is excited to make a difference.

"A lot of them lost everything. They are very grateful for what we do for them all the time," said Utt.

To learn more about volunteering with the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.

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Megan Meier is a reporter for KGUN 9. Megan graduated from Arizona State Universityʼs Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in May 2018. While pursuing her degree in broadcast journalism, Megan interned at the City of Phoenix. Share your story ideas and important issues with Megan by emailing megan.meier@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.