Local Red Cross sends staff member to aid in Washington wildfires

Monica Bruns
Monica Bruns

In less than 48 hours, Monica Bruns, with the Hanford Dole Chapter of the American Red Cross will head to the state of Washington where she’ll be deployed for two weeks for disaster relief.

Bruns will help residents in the town of Wenatchee that is in the midst a series of wildfires on the west coast.

Bruns, who is the disaster program specialist for the local chapter, will stay for two weeks in the town, located in north-central Washington.

“It gives us a good chance to practice what we plan for and to help people,” Bruns said of her deployment.

Once Bruns arrives in Seattle Monday night, she’ll then drive two hours to Wenatchee.

While there Bruns will provide information dissemination, which essentially is getting the word out to other aid organizations, government partners, media and within the Red Cross and “feeding it to where it needs to go” she said.

Bruns will travel with another volunteer from Cabarrus County.

It’s been two years since she was last deployed with the Red Cross. The last disaster Bruns volunteered for was Hurricane Sandy in New York.

Although the local Red Cross chapter uses donations to provide funds locally, Bruns said there is always opportunities to help during a disaster, be it local or nationally.

The operations are funded through donations and the Red Cross is “always avidly seeking donations,” Bruns said.

Donations can be earmarked for Washington Fire Relief. Bruns said volunteers and blood donations are also always needed.

The organization relies heavily on volunteers to assist those in need. The training for volunteers is free.

Anytime there is a disaster, there is always a high demand for blood, she said.

“If you can’t donate time and money donating blood could essentially save a life,” Bruns said.

For more information on how to help disaster relief, visit www.redcross.org for details.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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