Local Red Cross volunteers to help Louisiana flooding victims

- FILE - Red Cross Volunteer Van (WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– On Monday morning, volunteers from the Connecticut American Red Cross will head to Louisiana.

It’s a good morning if you’re waking up in your own, dry house. But tens of thousands of people down south are not. Some places have gotten almost two feet of rain in the past week. And when natural disasters strike, the American Red Cross rushes to help. And they do that with the help of volunteers from all across America, including right here in Connecticut.

Related: Rising floodwater leaves thousands homeless in Louisiana

News 8 spoke to Joe Apicelli Sunday. He’s been a Red Cross volunteer for 12 years now, and Monday he will head to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His thing is food. Think about it – you’ve had to leave your home, all your possessions are under water. You and your family are just trying to survive and stay dry. The last thing you need to worry about is how you’re getting your next meal.

Joe knows how tough it can be, because this will be the 35th time he’s deployed to a disaster area with the Red Cross.

“We’re going to go down there and expect to see despair, sadness. But we’re going to bring compassion, and drive and energy. And we’re going to change their mood,” said Apicelli.

Related: Rains wreak havoc on Louisiana; 3 dead, thousands evacuated

Their plan is to leave their staging area every morning, head out into communities hardest hit by the flooding and hand out as many as 500 meals, then head back to the kitchen, grab more food, and head back out to supply dinner. It’s hard work, but he loves it, and he’s all set to be down there for at least the next three weeks. With the flooding this bad, it’s going to take at least that long for people to clean up their homes and get back on track.

At least they won’t go hungry, thanks to Joe and the other volunteers from the Red Cross.

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