Carolyn Zellmer, executive director of the Sioux City Red Cross, spent the last two weeks in Lake Charles volunteering at the local chapter.
"I came down Oct. 9.I wanted to help with Red Cross disaster relief efforts," Zellmer
has spent most of her
time in Louisiana doing what she
can to help hurricane victims.
has been impressed by the toughness and high spirits of local residents.
"The people here are resilient," she
said."They have picked themselves up and gotten on the road to recovery quickly.They are really nice.I have no doubt the people of Lake Charles would be up there to help up if we ever had a disaster in Sioux City." Zellmer
said about 60 Sioux City residents have come to Louisiana so far.
"I am sure more will come in the following weeks," she
said. Zellmer has been a member of the Sioux City Red Cross board of directors for 15 years, including five years as executive director.
"It is rewarding work," she
said."I feel like I have the best job there is, getting paid to do something I had previously done as a volunteer." Zellmer
first volunteered following a 1989 plane crash in Sioux City.She
helped to feed workers at the site, helped family members of victims receive counseling and gathering belongings for survivors.
Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Zellmer
was able to assist evacuees from Louisiana in Sioux City.
"That is my favorite part of the job, being able to meet people one-on-one and doing something to help them," she
said."Some decided to stay, so we helped them find housing in Sioux City and get back on their feet there.It is so interesting to hear their stories about how they ended up there, and personally rewarding to be able to help them." Zellmer
has felt at home in Lake Charles.