More Hawaii Red Cross volunteers head to Sandy disaster relief - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Nearly 3 weeks after Sandy, more Hawaii Red Cross volunteers head to East Coast

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Nearly three weeks after Superstorm Sandy slammed the East Coast, more American Red Cross volunteers from Hawaii are headed to the area to help with disaster relief.

Red Cross officials said recovering from Sandy is one of its largest disaster relief efforts in years, involving volunteers from all 50 states.

"Actually there's about 57-hundred people that are mostly volunteers for Red Cross over there, and this is likely to be the largest in the United States in the past five years for the Red Cross," said Coralie Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawaii Chapter of the Red Cross.

Jim Hollyer is one of the latest volunteers heading out to help. "I got the phone call about two o'clock yesterday afternoon, and I leave in about four hours, so about 26 hours advance notice," said Hollyer Saturday afternoon.

Hollyer, whose regular job is at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has volunteered at disaster relief efforts in Hawaii, but this will be his first trip volunteering outside the islands. He said he's ready for anything.

"I'm going as a feeding volunteer, but they could ask me to do something completely different, so I'm going there to do whatever they ask me to do," said Hollyer.

Another volunteer, Barbara Dove, has been in New York since immediately after the storm hit. "She went to a place on Long Island today called Long Beach," said Dove's husband, Bill Beadle. "Still debris all over the streets. People are still homeless and without electricity and without heat."

Dove is scheduled to return to Hawaii Sunday after 18 days in New York. But the relief efforts continue, and may do so for weeks to come from Hawaii's Red Cross volunteers.

"I think we're still trying to call up people because all of the people are coming back exhausted and we need reinforcements," said Matayoshi.

"They're currently sending out the second wave of volunteers from Hawaii and we'll probably send out a third wave of volunteers," said Beadle. "So it's going to go on."

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