Nacogdoches community members stepping up to help Harvey evacuee - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches community members stepping up to help Harvey evacuees at shelter

The red vests are easily recognized for American Red Cross. It’s those volunteers without vests and formal training who are stepping up to help out, too. (Source: KTRE Staff) The red vests are easily recognized for American Red Cross. It’s those volunteers without vests and formal training who are stepping up to help out, too. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Volunteers provide a smile and words of encouragement for Harvey evacuees. (Source: KTRE Staff) Volunteers provide a smile and words of encouragement for Harvey evacuees. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Stacy Triana uses her day off from work to help out at the shelter located at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center. (Source: KTRE Staff) Stacy Triana uses her day off from work to help out at the shelter located at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Stacy Triana uses her day off from work to help out at the shelter located at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center. (Source: KTRE Staff) Stacy Triana uses her day off from work to help out at the shelter located at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center. (Source: KTRE Staff)
NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

One Red Cross shelter is being closed in Nacogdoches. Over 30 storm evacuees at the recreation center are being moved to the city's largest shelter at the Nacogdoches Exposition Center. 

It's there where East Texas News found that Nacogdoches community members are stepping in to help anyway they can.

The red vests worn by American Red Cross staff and trained volunteers are easy to recognize at storm shelters across East and South Texas. 

It's the hundreds of other volunteers who simply came in and asked, “What can I do?” who may not get the recognition they deserve.  

Linda Stout could be home playing with her granddaughter, but with toddler in tow, Stout covered a need Tuesday.

"What I have been doing is running people back and forth to Walmart, to drugstores, to hotels, and picking them up and anybody that needs a ride,” Stout said.

On Friday, when busloads of storm evacuees from Vidor, Buna, Kirbyville, and Mauriceville arrived in Nacogdoches on short notice. The demand for help was so great that Red Cross bent the rules and allowed non-certified workers like Stacy Triana to help out. 

"Take care of them, talk to them, give them some comfort and peace,” Triana said.

Off from work, Triana volunteered at the Red Cross supply station Tuesday, yet she knows what the evacuees really need doesn't come in a bottle.

"We really need FEMA actually,” Triana said. “I know they're working on it, but they haven't done it yet." 

With every disaster, American Red Cross is often required to justify expenses and donation allocations. Triana has a response to all that. 

"I know there is a lot of controversy about the money and how it's handled,” Triana said. “These people that are working have nothing to do with that money. They are here working, yes they are getting paid, but they're here 24-7."

"These people here went out of their way and beyond to help us here,” said Rebecca Tally, a Mauriceville evacuee.

"You couldn't give enough praise,” said Margie Farley, an evacuee from Vidor. “They're precious."

It's next to impossible to put a number on all the volunteers who are helping in Nacogdoches, Lufkin and other places across Deep East Texas.
The American Red Cross gave these numbers for shelter helpers. 

There are approximately 22 Nacogdoches Red Cross volunteers. Red Cross national sent 12 representatives. There are over 20 Nacogdoches nurses and doctors providing medical care. There are 80 faith-based volunteers and 60 Air Force and Army National Guard personnel serving at the Nacogdoches shelter.

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