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Local American Red Cross volunteers helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey

American Red Cross volunteers from Southwest Michigan are in Texas helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

American Red Cross volunteers from Southwest Michigan are in Texas helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The volunteer-based program is mounting an enormous effort to help those in the storm's path.

Four Red Cross volunteers from the Kalamazoo chapter were sent to the Houston area this week, and it is likely many more volunteers from West Michigan will be needed.

Across the state, 20 Red Cross volunteers are serving those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The Red Cross is mobilizing hundreds of disaster workers, truckloads of kitchen supplies and trailers full of coats and blankets.

Volunteers from our area are setting up shelters and managing all those supplies. They will be there in two week cycles before being rotated out.

Jim and Nancy Kowalski, Red Cross volunteers, aren't being deployed for this trip but said it is essential for volunteers from across the country to help in this time of great need.

"This is affecting so many people down there, so many potential clients down there that the local chapters can't handle all of it,” Nancy said. “I mean, they're great and they do what they can, but you've got to realize people in the local chapters, a lot of those people are affected by the storm as well."

The Red Cross is working with government officials and community partners in Louisiana to send assistance there as well.

If you want to help, the Red Cross said the best way is to donate here.

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