American Red Cross Aids Military Relief Effort At Homestead
(January 24, 2010)
HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Fla. (1/20/2010 - AFNS) --
American Red Cross officials are providing support to
thousands of evacuees from Haiti at a processing center here
in support of Operation Unified Response, the U.S.
military's Haitian relief effort. |
|Red Cross volunteers prepare food and snacks for evacuees from Haiti, Jan. 19, 2010, at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla. The Red Cross has already supported more than 1,500 evacuees being transported through Homestead ARB.
"We are providing for two sites here, one for evacuees and
another for the aircrews flying them in," said Jesika Davis,
the American Red Cross South Dade Branch manager and Service
to the Armed Forces regional director. "Our primary concern
is hydration, so we are providing a lot of water as well as
snacks, basic hygiene items and supplies for children and
In the last two days, more than 1,500 people have arrived
here from Haiti as part of Operation Unified Response. The
groups are composed of repatriated American citizens and
individuals holding foreign passports who sought refuge from
the rubble and death that surrounds Haiti's capital city.
The Red Cross volunteers here are working in shifts, 24
hours a day, to provide support for those individuals in
One of the volunteers, Zakiyya Brodie, is a military spouse
who came to the base Jan. 19 simply to work out at the gym.
When she got there, she realized that it was full of people
who had recently arrived from Haiti.
"One of the guys who works here is a friend of mine," Mrs.
Brodie said. "He introduced me to Jesika Davis and when I
said I wanted to help, she asked if I could start today."
Emily Fish, a Knoxville, Tenn., native and Miryam Aguilar,
from Miami, are also first-time volunteers.
"We are here to give people food, water, diapers, hand
sanitizer, coffee--really whatever they need at the moment,"
Ms. Fish said.
The American Red Cross isn't the only organization on hand
to provide support, but they are trying to tie it all
"We're trying to provide some direction for the people
here," Mrs. Davis said. "We're filling in the gaps and
explaining the processes."
They are also providing translators. Along with a functional
role, translators provide comfort to the evacuees, giving
them someone to talk to and to explain things to them in
their own language after days of confusion and chaos.
"Flexibility is the name of the game here," Mrs. Davis said.
"But we are also here to provide compassion and
Article by Airman 1st Class Danielle Grannan|
Homestead Joint Information Bureau
U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andy Bellamy
Air Force News Service
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