As the cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Harvey in Texas has gotten into full swing, Richard Smith, executive director of the American Red Cross of Central and Western South Dakota, departed for Texas to lend a helping hand.
Smith departed from Rapid City Regional Airport Saturday morning for Houston to help elected officials coordinate the massive cleanup and recovery effort.
“Our heart just breaks because we understand what people are going through,” Smith said. “We understand the traumatic event that it’s going to be, the upheaval it causes, what’s going to happen to those folks.”
When Smith saw the distant tragedy, he felt a calling to go and help.
“We’ve had the blizzards here, we’ve had flooding that’s taken place here,” he said. “We see those things [in Texas] and our hearts just go out to these folks. When these things happen, we train to [help] and we want to help, right when they happen.”
“I’ve been waiting patiently for two weeks, and I’ll just be excited to get down there and start to work,” Smith said as he waited for his flight.
If you would like to help support Red Cross recovery efforts or learn how to get involved, you can visit redcross.org, or call the Red Cross of Central and Western South Dakota at (605) 342-4010.