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Local volunteers providing assistance in South Carolina

The Red Cross has dispatched 11 Western New York volunteers to assist in the flood-ravaged areas of South Carolina. "We're trying to help the people who were in harm's way to have a safe place to be," said volunteer Diane Sargent.

"The water is still rising," explained Sargent while officials determine their course of action.
"It's going to take time. It always takes time.  We go as fast as we can because the need is immediate. The Red Cross takes care of emergency needs," Sargent said.

"We are not going to put anyone in harm's way."

Sargent expects to be deployed to emergency shelters that are being established throughout the state. Beyond food, water and clothing, victims have other needs.

"Everybody has their own story and they want people to hear them. So, we talk to people and give them places where they can possibly move forward."

It's been a busy period for Red Cross volunteers. Sargent just recently returned from California where she helped victims from the widespread wildfires. The experiences take their toll.

"It's really tough. We commit to at least two weeks at a time when we go and it can get emotionally and physically draining to see this all the time," Sargent shared.

"For the wildfires, we stayed in the a shelter on a cot for two weeks in a big gymnasium with all these other people and I was thankful I could go home where a lot of these people couldn't go home. They had nothing to go home to."

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.

Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.