The Fayette-Nicholas Chapter of the American Red Cross, in responding to the human suffering and devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, obviously is seeking donations of a financial nature. However, the chapter also is seeking people willing to donate some time and some elbow grease to the relief operation.

People willing to take Red Cross training and travel to the Gulf Coast are needed, according to Carol Ashmore, administrative assistant at the Fayette-Nicholas Chapter. Some already have begun training and one volunteer, James “Bink” Mooney, who is the chapter’s Nicholas County chaplain, left early Friday morning to join the relief workers, she said.

“These people would take some quick Red Cross training and give at least two weeks to the relief efforts of Katrinia,” Ashmore wrote in a mass e-mail.

“Red Cross will send these people to the disaster relief operation.”

Training is ongoing at the Fayette-Nicholas Chapter.

“We are training, training, training local caring people to go south,” she said Thursday. “James ‘Bink’ Mooney from Nicholas County just walked out the door, boarding a plane at 6 a.m. We have a half dozen others ready to go with more coming in.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Disaster Services Human Resources volunteer for the ARC is asked to call the local chapter at 469-4636, or visit the ARC Web site at

For those who are unable to consider giving in that manner, but who want to help out anyway, the ARC is seeking monetary donations.

“Donations of money are most needed from those of you who are able to give,” Ashmore says. “But remember: One dollar makes a difference. The money then will be spent on disaster relief supplies through bulk distributions in the areas affected by Katrina.”

Roseann Berry, executive director of the Fayette-Nicholas Chapter, says the ARC’s fund-raising efforts in response to the hurricane will be monumental.

“The extent of damage and loss of life caused by Hurricane Katrina is still unfolding. Officials believe that this storm will be more costly than Hurricane Andrew, the previous record-breaking hurricane of 1992,” Berry says.

“In response, the American Red Cross is launching the largest mobilization of resources for a single natural disaster involving thousands of trained disaster relief workers, tons of supplies — and shoulders on which to lean.

“Even with the rapid and generous support from our partners and the public, a nationwide, coordinated fund-raising effort is necessary to ensure we have the resources to deliver the critical services that Americans trust us to deliver. Effective immediately, we will begin a nationwide Disaster Relief Fund Campaign.

“We anticipate a sustained disaster relief effort, unlike any other in our history, lasting many months. Already, the Red Cross has provided a safe haven for nearly 70,000 evacuees in more than 230 Red Cross shelters — from the panhandle of Florida, across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas. However, we do not have a full report of the damage and services needed, and we do not yet have a firm nationwide fund-raising goal.”

Monetary donations can be sent to Fayette-Nicholas Chapter, American Red Cross, PO Box 355, Oak Hill, WV 25901-0355; or, if you feel more comfortable giving directly to the national organization, visit the Web site at for information on where to send donations.

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