Red Cross thanks volunteers after deployment to Hurricane Sandy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Red Cross thanks volunteers after deployment to Hurricane Sandy

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After serving thousands and thousands of free labor hours, area American Red Cross volunteers were recognized and honored Thursday night. The open house was also to recognize March as National American Red Cross Month, but mainly to thank our local volunteers, who, even when the call was demanding, set their lives aside to serve others.

From Hurricane Sandy to Sandy Hook, in recent months dozens of local Red Cross volunteers left the Panhandle to assist disaster victims and brave mass destruction.

"I deployed November third and was gone for three weeks," said longtime Red Cross volunteer Roseanne Langevin. "My job while there was looking after all of the thousands of Red Cross volunteers who were deployed."

"The water levels were really high, debris was washed up on their porches and patios and in their houses," added another Red Cross volunteer, Shannon Jones. "The difficult part of it was just devastation, the frustration, and where are the answers?"

Thursday, those volunteers were honored and awarded. A simple thank you, that may never be enough.

"They dedication and the passion that those in our area have and the impact they make is huge," said Texas Panhandle American Red Cross Executive Director, Steve Pair. "I mean, there's people that wouldn't have been able to get the help that they needed had these volunteers not deployed."

But it never really was a "thank you" this group set out to find.

"When the Red Cross personnel were leaving, as exhausted as they were, they still didn't want to leave," said Langevin. "They felt so compelled to stay, there was so much work to be done."

"You don't think about the house that you spend helping other people," added Jones. "It's just something that you do."

Giving their time, and maybe even a hug.

"Texans are huggers," said Langevin. "I just think having Texans there putting their arms around people who needed hugs, needed support was great."

If you're interested in volunteering with the Red Cross, log on to their web site at www.redcross.org/texaspanhandle.