Stateline Area Continues its Hurricane Katrina Outreach Efforts

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Longtime Red Cross volunteer Rick Nilson is prepared to take on the worst, and bring out the best for those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

"For me, it's a real benefit because I really enjoy helping people, because I, like many people, have been down and out in bad conditions, and it's really nice to give back to the community," Nilson said.

Nilson's gone on 20 plus disaster missions since 1997. He'll set up response technology to connect uprooted families to loved ones. However, Nilson admits he must avoid losing focus amidst the devastation.

"When we get there, a lot of times it can be overpowering, it's your senses, your feelings or emotions," Nilson said.

And Red Cross volunteers like Nilson aren't alone in the area's Katrina outreach. Winnebago County's Salvation Army is bringing in cash contributions, and sending them out to disaster areas immediately.

"What we're doing here in our area is encouraging people to channel those donations through the Salvation Army here locally. We'll see that every penny of that goes down into the disaster area," Winnebago County Salvation Army Co-Coordinator Dallas Raby said.

In the coming weeks, the local Salvation Army will send relief workers to the Gulf, to assist with mobile kitchens, shelter and whatever's necessary to ease a ravaged region's pain.

"We're looking for people with special skills, electrical workers, administration and management types to help us with the work we have to do down there," Raby said.
An immense rebuilding project at hand, a mission local volunteers will directly improve with both their bodies, and their wallets.