Valdosta - After the firefighters move out, Red Cross volunteers move in. "A lot of times, they're still in shock, and the victims don't know what they're going to do or where they're going to go," said Penelope White, Red Cross Director.
They're job is crucial. "We put people in motels, send them to local merchants to get clothes, and make food available to them," said White. But without more funding, they may not be able to provide those services much longer. "Our budget for this past year was a little over $10,000 and we're already $3,000 over that," said White.
Valdosta's Red Cross Chapter has never responded to more than 47 fires in one year. But with one month still left in this fiscal year, they've already surpassed that number. "There have been 48 fires so far and our year isn't over yet," said White.
So they're asking the community for help. "We're asking people to make donations to the Valdosta Chapter so we can continue to serve the people," said White.
The Red Cross is a unique organization to Lowndes County. "We are the only organization in the community that makes this service available to victims," said White.
But without the money this group needs, disaster victims may have get back on their feet by themselves.