Red Cross volunteers from North Carolina tackle wildfire relief efforts in California

Monday, November 12, 2018
NC Red Cross volunteers help with California wildfires
NC Red Cross volunteers help with California wildfires.

Many Red Cross volunteers from North Carolina have spent weeks supporting those affected by hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Now, some of them are shifting their focus to help families devastated by California wildfires.

Fire destroyed large parts of California again Monday.

Six Red Cross volunteers from North Carolina are on the ground helping, including Helen Miller from Jacksonville, who arrived Sunday night.

"The people are very appreciative and it doesn't matter if they are rich or poor; they have all been affected by this disaster," Miller said.

More than 2,000 people have taken refuge at several Red Cross Shelters.

Miller will be distributing shelter food and supplies to neighbors watching their communities burn.

For the past two months, the 72-year-old volunteer has been away from home providing relief to hurricane evacuees in Georgia and Florida and North Carolina. And now she'll spend several days in Northern California.

"Hopefully I can be home for Thanksgiving," she said. "But if I'm not, I'll be here helping the people."

Judy Nicholson from Hillsborough is part of the next wave of volunteers traveling to the disaster zone Tuesday.

"I really wouldn't do it if I didn't like it," Nicholson sais. "It's life-changing."

Nicholson has served with the organization for 24 years as a mental-health counselor.

Once in California, she'll provide support to those emotionally traumatized

"I can't sing, I can't draw, I can't do anything like that, but I meet people where they are. And see if I can just give them a leg up on the horse," she said.

Most of the volunteers that have deployed from our area will be gone for two weeks.

There's always a need for more volunteers and donations to support Red Cross efforts. Go to to learn more.