CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Volunteers from the Red Cross traveled from Cincinnati to Oregon to help with wildfire relief.
Wildfires have burned millions of acres out west, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate across California, Oregon and Washington.
It could be weeks before they are able to return home, which is why the Red Cross has mobilized a massive relief effort across three states during a time of uncertainty.
Volunteers Rachel Brubaker and Joyce Monnin, spent the first part of their week traveling across the country from Cincinnati to Oregon.
Thursday morning, they arrived in one of three emergency response vehicles to Salem and have now been sent 3 hours south to the Medford, Phoenix and Talent areas.
“We will probably be working in the Medford area for awhile. There are quite a bit of wildfires down there,” says Brubaker.
“We’re expecting rain in about 3-4 days, so we are really appreciative of the rain. It has changed the air quality considerably," Brubaker said.
The wildfires out west have taken lives, forced people to flee, and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses along the way.
" It has been really relentless," says CEO of the Central and Southern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross, Stephanie Byrd.
“So far from our region or the southern Ohio region, there have been about 94 appointments, filling about 107 different positions," said Byrd.
Volunteers have provided relief supplies including ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets and personal protective equipment.
They have also helped those with medical or disability needs and families they may be in need of emotional support.
“We like to say that the Red Cross volunteers are the best part of somebody’s worst day and that’s because of the amount of compassion that they bring to people who feel like they’ve lost everything, and they give them the hope that it will get better,” says Byrd.
If you are looking for a way to help during these challenging times, there are options.
You can give your time by signing up as a volunteer, whether that be helping from home or traveling.
You can also donate funds that would directly go towards those affected by the wildfires out west.
Write “California Wildfires,” “Oregon Wildfires” or “Washington Wildfires” in the memo line of a check and mail it to your local Red Cross chapter.
You can also text the word CAWILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation
To volunteer go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.