Red Cross lends helping hand to tornado victims

Darlington, SC - By Kyle Grainger - bio | email

DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) – The American Red Cross says volunteers have been working in Darlington since Sunday's storm, but they need financial help to continue their efforts.

Linda Boone-Smith, the executive director of the Pee Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross, says on average her chapter helps a family every 20 hours. She says the tornado is going to hit the organization's disaster relief fund hard.

"We're asking for help," said Boone-Smith. "We have no guidelines for assisting people. You just really have to have a loss. We are like an insurance policy."

The Red Cross says they've fed almost 300 people a day since the Sunday storm, including people who are volunteering in clean-up efforts and people who are trying to rebuild their lives.

Some volunteers are with church groups. They say the food helps so they don't have to spend time searching for something to eat.

"We don't have to chase into town to get something to eat. We can keep on doing our work, and there's a lot of work to be done - a lot of work," said Kenneth Phelps, who is in Darlington as part of the United Methodist Church's Disaster Relief Team. "We've been to Allendale, Louisiana, and here it hit pretty hard. It's pretty devastating."

The Pee Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross says they are in the middle of their Heroes Campaign, one of their largest fundraising efforts. Boone-Smith says she hopes people will find it in their heart to give so they can continue helping people in a time of need.

If you'd like to donate to the Pee Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross, click here.