NJ volunteers are in Hawaii to help with wildfire recovery
As the Hawaiian island of Maui continues to tally bodies and damage from this month's devastating wildfires, two volunteers from the American Red Cross New Jersey Region are on site to assist with the recovery.
Andrea Webb, a retired nurse from Mercer County, and Mary Sterling, an expert in sheltering from Monmouth County, are on the ground in Hawaii.
Due to the help needed and the distance from New Jersey to the site of the deadly fires, both volunteers have committed to a three-week deployment for the mission.
"We do expect to send additional volunteers, and these would be trained disaster workers," said Diane Concannon, director of communications for the New Jersey Region.
American Red Cross has its own operations in Hawaii but is pulling trained disaster workers from other regions in order to more efficiently respond to the need caused by the wildfires, which as of Monday had claimed nearly 100 lives and decimated thousands of structures.
Three other New Jersey volunteers are helping with logistics remotely, Concannon said. And a volunteer from Ocean County — Jim Moran — has been deployed to another state to help with moving supplies from the contiguous U.S. to Hawaii.
According to GoFundMe, donors from New Jersey have contributed more than $300,000 through the platform's online fundraising campaigns for Maui wildfire relief.