Havre Daily News
A Havre Red Cross volunteer is helping in shelters all over Louisiana.
Cindy Smith was on her way Tuesday afternoon from Louisiana's capital, Baton Rouge, to the smaller town of Monroe. Smith said she would be helping set up a new shelter and moving Katrina victims from an older shelter to the new one within 48 hours.
"Monday, I was exhausted and emotional," Smith said in an interview via her cell phone. "People cried when we left the last shelter."
Smith, director of nursing for the Hill County Health Department, left Havre last week to volunteer in Louisiana. She said Tuesday she's already helped set up a health center at a shelter in Baton Rouge, then went to Walker, La., and returned to Baton Rouge. Smith said a lot of health care professionals are there to help out, and it has been a little chaotic. "It was not organized at first but it's getting better," she said.
She joined on as a Red Cross volunteer because she wanted to help the cause. Working in public health, Smith also wanted to see how the Red Cross responds during disasters, see how to possibly improve upon it and then bring the knowledge home and apply it in Montana.
"There is so much more to do than predicted," Smith said.
She said relief efforts haven't reached some small communities.
Everyone she's encountered has been wonderful, and area churches have been very supportive. A couple from one of the churches opened their house to Smith the previous two nights.
The people being helped have been very appreciative she added.
"I got a free haircut at Wal-Mart," Smith said, "I wanted to have something easy to take care of."