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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - As tens of thousands of people seek shelter on the Carolina coast, people from Oregon and southwest Washington are volunteering to help.

The American Red Cross says disaster responders from Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Vancouver, Salem, Eugene, Bend and other local communities joined about 2,000 Red Cross disaster workers this week to help shelter, feed and support people affected by Hurricane Florence.

FOX 12 spoke with an Oregon man who is on his 15th mission as a Red Cross volunteer.

“You get to work with a lot of people that are going through a hard time, out of their homes, and you get to support them for that period until they can go back to their homes,” Pat Beckham said.

Ironically, Beckham lives on the Oregon coast in the city of Florence.

Now, he is in Virginia helping fight the storm by working with dozens of other local volunteers to provide meals, transfer supplies and boost relief efforts.

“We’ll do whatever we can to help,” Beckham said. “…let them know that we love them just like they were right next door back in Oregon.”

Ron Burby, a local volunteer helping North Carolina, says he has responded to 11 other disasters, but has never assisted during a hurricane. 

"It's pitch black, it's raining, and all I can think about are the people that are in their homes possibly...that are scared to death," Burby said. "These people need our help. They're just waiting for us to get those supplies to them."

In days to come, the Red Cross says it will mobilize emergency response vehicles and more than 120 trailers of equipment and supplies, including cots and blankets for more than 42,000 people.

The nonprofit organization hopes other people in the area will also want to help.

"These are out fellow human beings, and they need us," Burby said.

People interested in volunteering for the Red Cross as a disaster responder may attend one of the several training sessions taking place across the state.

Tuesday, Sept. 18:

  • 123 International Way Springfield, OR 97477 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.).

Wednesday, Sept. 19:

  • 675 Orchard Heights Road Northwest Suite 200 Salem, OR 97304 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.).
  • 1806 Cove Avenue La Grande, OR 97650 (1 p.m. – 4 p.m.).

Friday, Sept. 21:

  • 3131 North Vancouver Avenue Portland, OR 97227 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • 1651 Lexington Avenue Astoria, OR 97103 (6 p.m. – 9 p.m.).

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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