Red Cross seeks volunteers with long term relief in mind

FEDERAL WAY – The Red Cross says so many people across the country are signing up to volunteer that it crashed the computer system and locally there are some dramatic stories of people stepping up.

“I am leaving as soon as possible,” Jakiir Mallick said. Mallick of Federal Way says he’s so compelled to help Hurricane Harvey victims that he’s willing to leave for months and even quit his job.

“When I grow up I don’t want to regret it like I had the chance to be by those people,” Mallick said. He’s only 18 years old, but he knows what it feels like to lose everything after a typhoon hit his home island of Saipan in 2015.

“People should be thankful for having a roof over their head,” Mallick said. He signed up to be a volunteer with the Red Cross.

“My main priority is those people,” Mallick said. A lot of training and a background check will be done on anyone who wants to volunteer with the Red Cross. The organization says they will identify the skills volunteers have and match them with the best job to help people.

“You might not be there next week but could be there in a month, two months,” Red Cross employee Betsy Robertson said.

Relief workers will be needed for a very long time in Texas. Robertson just got back from the devastation where she helped waves and waves of wet families seeking shelter.

Children suffering is what tugged at Robertson’s heart strings the most.

“You could see the top of a mother’s head pressed against the top of a child’s head right next to the them,” Robertson said.

Right now donations are pouring in but some aren’t helpful like this gold high heel shoes dropped off on Friday.

“That’s worth a chuckle I look at that and I think here is a donor whose heart is in the right place but maybe isn’t thinking about exactly what the evacuees need right now,” Robertson said.

The Red Cross says cash is the best donation for others it’s their time.

“Every time I help people and the moment they say God bless you or wish you the best it makes me feel better,” Mallick said.