The Great White North Extends a Helping Hand to Sandy Victims

Robbin Stephens, a Canadian Red Cross volunteer from Surrey, British Columbia, helps to load a truck with relief supplies at the Red Cross warehouse in Somerset, New Jersey.

Robbin Stephens is used to responding to calls for help at all hours of the day, so when the call came from the Red Cross to help families affected by Superstorm Sandy, she was among more than 5,000 volunteers who packed their bags and put their home lives on hold to help communities along the Eastern Seaboard.

 
What makes this journey different for Robbin is that a passport was at the top of her packing list. A disaster management supervising instructor with the Canadian Red Cross, Robbin has lent her skills to many disasters across her home province of British Columbia, on Canada’s west coast, and to floods, fires and storms across the country. Part of a 30-strong contingent of disaster management specialists from our northern neighbors, Robbin is working in the warehouse in Somerset, New Jersey, that receives, sorts and dispatches relief supplies— like blankets, bottled water, and cleanup kits—to the thousands of New Jersey families the American Red Cross is helping each day.
 
This is Robbin’s first deployment outside Canada, and the opportunity to lend her logistics skills to warehousing has opened her eyes to the scale of relief for a disaster like this. Her warehouse has already distributed 700,000 individual relief items to families who need them. “It’s great seeing people from all over the US and all over the world here to help communities in their time of need,” she said. “Working with partners like Americorps, which seems to be full of Energizer Bunnies, really shows how people can pull together to help each other in a crisis.”
 
 
Photo and story by Gwen Eamer, Canadian Red Cross, here in New Jersey to help with response to Superstorm Sandy
 
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2 Responses

  1. I tried to get help from you I’m one of the displaced due to the hurricanne I lost everything.You never got back to me I think your organization is a phoney I think you are pocketing all the funds that people are donating to you.Thanks for nothing!!!

    • I’m very sorry to hear this, Veronica. Please send us your location privately at priyanka.joshi@redcross.org so we can see what help your area needs.
      We have been helping people since before Sandy made landfall and will continue to help for weeks to come as families get back on their feet. Do you have a place to stay and have power? If not, please reach out to a nearby Red Cross shelter. We have hot meals, warm beds and medical assistance available for displaced families at our 20+ shelters. See map: http://www.redcross.org/find-help/shelter
      Also, our trucks are going into neighborhoods everyday across NJ and NY, feeding people and distributing cleaning supplies. Follow our tweets at @RedCrossNorthNJ to see their locations that we are updating several times during the day.
      Our best,
      Priyanka Joshi
      Communications Manager,
      Red Cross North Jersey Region

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