AT&T Pioneers and Red Cross Helping in the Community

Story and Photos by Bill Fortune/American Red Cross
In any large scale disaster there are those who wring their hands and wish they could help. There are also those who seize the moment and make things happen. When members of

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People line up to get cleaning supplies donated by AT&T Pioneers. Several homes in the area were damaged by flood waters caused by Hurricane Matthew.

AT&T Pioneers showed up at the Red Cross of Sandhills Chapter in Fayetteville with donated items it seemed like the stars aligned for a few moments. Cassandra Campbell, a Red Cross volunteer with the Sandhills Chapter saw what the Pioneers had brought in and immediately knew where they needed to go and how to get it there.

“Cassandra is one of our stars at the Chapter,” said Phil Harris, Executive Director for the Sandhills Chapter.

Cassandra lives near the Oak Run Apartments and is friendly with some of the residents.

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Red Cross volunteer Ramon Jones, from Michigan, places cleaning items into a bag for Kittie Price at the Oak Run Apartments in Fayetteville.

She travels through the area nearly every day and has been witness to the damage caused by the flooding from Hurricane Matthew. “As soon as I saw the donations I made calls to some of the residents in the area who were still cleaning up from the floods,” Cassandra said. “What I heard was that they are still in need especially with respect to cleaning supplies.” Cassandra and fellow volunteer Octavia Jones-Elliott went to work and with the help of visiting staff deployed for the disaster response they developed a plan.

Garnering help from visiting Red Cross volunteers tasked with damage assessment, the supplies were loaded into vehicles, filling the back of a pickup truck and the trunks of cars. The teams of volunteers caravanned to the prearranged location where people were waiting. The crowd grew quickly and it was obvious by the appreciation vocalized that people had been hoping for this sort of delivery. It didn’t take long for the Red Cross team to run out of supplies.

Robert Ray was one of the people in line. His home had been heavily damaged and he was still in the process of cleaning the mud and muck out of his home. “I appreciate what the Red Cross has done and really appreciate the donation from AT&T folks,” he said as he

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Robert Ray (white shirt) waits in line to get cleaning supplies from Red Cross volunteer Aaron Fields (from Pennsylvania) in Fayetteville.

picked up bleach, laundry detergent and paper towels. “Cleaning is hard work after something like this and what money I have is going toward that. These things will help a lot.”

AT&T Pioneers is an employee volunteer organization that is the world’s largest group of industry-specific employees and retirees dedicated to community service.  Pioneers volunteer more than 15 million hours annually responding to the individual needs of their communities.

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