CORDELE, GA (WALB) - With the influx of evacuees, the American Red Cross of Southwest Georgia opened a shelter in Crisp County for anyone seeking refuge from Irma.
Several dozen people answered the call from the Red Cross to help evacuees at Blackshear Trail School in Cordele on Friday.
"We have a nice array of volunteers that have showed up to help us get set up," said Board Director Bonita Turton.
Volunteer Jorge Gonzalez joined others in unloading 90 cots when the first Red Cross trailer arrived at the location.
Gonzalez said his faith pushed him to help those in need.
"I think this is an act that could be done, that could exemplify treating humanity with dignity and with respect," he said.
The Red Cross expected more cots on the way. Turton said they hoped to house up to 500 people in the building.
"The food is being staged at the First Methodist Church of Cordele, and we'll be bringing it here," Turton said.
Church volunteers planned to serve their first meal Friday night.
Turton said the shelter does need donations, like bottled water, diapers, and factory sealed snacks.
However, Turton said Red Cross staff and volunteers hope the shelter will support those without a place to stay.
Gonzalez said even on his way to volunteer on Friday, he couldn't avoid seeing South Georgia's efforts to help those who Irma might affect.
"It's like one truck here, one truck there," said Gonzalez. "It surmounts to a huge amount of people that could be helped. You play a little role and yet it fulfills a great duty."
"Everybody's just really been trying to make a difference and make everybody feel comfortable coming into town," said Blackshear Trail School's Co-Director Dravian McGill.
Turton said the shelter will stay open as long as necessary.
This shelter opened at 6 p.m. on Friday.
If you would like to volunteer or donate you can call (229) 273-4586.
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