Anything to Help

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Here in Reno, we are just being inundated with responses from people who want to help in some way: make financial contributions or those who want to go and volunteer.

Caroline Punches, the director of the local Red Cross, says people are really reaching out.

That's why the organization is offering several training sessions to get volunteers ready to send to the hurricane disaster areas.

Melissa Talbi drove all the way from Susanville to attend Saturday's class.

She says she is a single mom and currently unemployed.

But, she knows there are thousands more who have it much harder right now, so she's going to help.

"I'm part of the human race and being part of the human race, you got to do what got to do..... I saw all those babies and women and children. I have a 20 month old and it killed me to see those moms not being able to give those babies food and water. I know that if I had that problem, I would hope that everyone would help me. Anybody who could."

Punches understands this reality that is reaching so many people who aren't affected by the hurricane.

She says this is what they do best.

"95-percent of our ability to respond, is to be prepared to be able to respond."

Talbi says she's ready to go.

"It's going to be kind of scary, but it has to be done. And, if I'm not willing to go... there's lots of people not willing, and those of us who are, need to get down there."

If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, there are still opportunities for you to attend a training session...

The Red Cross will be accepting some walk-ins at the Public Safety Regional Center Wednesday.

Training begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m.

Nurses and medically trained professional can sign up for another class for Tuesday at nine am.

The Red Cross is also putting on two and a half hour orientation classes from Tuesday and Thursday beginning at 5 p.m. for those who want to learn more about the training process.

If you would like to participate, or would like more information call your local Red Cross at 856-1000.

They ask that you be able to donate your time to help in the relief efforts for a minimum of three weeks.