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Friday, September 2nd, 2005 -- 3:10 PM

The Associate Director of Disaster Services for the Wood County chapter of the American Red Cross says the local outpouring of support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina has been impressive.

Pattie Kelnhofer says the response has been "Unbelievable."

"All the communities in this area are reponding like I've never seen before. It's very heartwarming. The phone doesn't stop ringing. We need them to keep coming because it's going to be a very long haul," Kelnhofer says.

Aside from monetary donations, ?dozens? of people have been coming forward volunteering to help. While volunteers are appreciated, they need to know what they?re getting themselves into. She?ll be holding a volunteer training class on Tuesday night at 5:30.

"It's a trick situation. Volunteers need to be trained. This is not a good situation these people are going into," Kelnhofer explained. "While everyone's heart is in the right place, it would be irresponsible of the chapter to not send them with those proper tools."

Kelnhofer describes the volunteers? tasks as ?mass care? at the 280-plus shelters in the hurricane zone.

Space is limited for Tuesday?s class. If you?re interested in volunteering, you can call the Wood County chapter of the Red Cross at (715) 387-0235.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.