In its largest response to a disaster since Hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross is sending volunteers from across the country, including the New York area, to help people in tornado-ravaged states.
The deadliest outbreak of tornadoes since the 1970s killed nearly 300 people across seven states.
Hun-Jue Luu, a mental health counselor from Kew Gardens, Queens, will be one of the first New York volunteers to head to Alabama for the relief effort.
He is taking two weeks off from his job with the state of New York to help victims of the storms.
“We're able. We really need to help them, at least support them," said Luu. “It can be heartbreaking -- even myself, I don’t know how to handle it. I need to be prepared when they’re not willing to say anything, to simply be there with them.”
Volunteers in the New York office are fielding calls from people who want to donate to the relief efforts.
The Red Cross is sending supplies to the South and encouraging people to give blood.
"Blood donations in Alabama aren't going on right now. People are out of their homes. Homes are destroyed,” said Sam Kille, a spokesman at the Red Cross in New York. “We need people to consider donating blood from other parts of the country so we can send that in.”
If you would like to make a financial donation, you can visit www.redcross.org. or give $10 by texting “red cross” to 90999.