87-year-old Red Cross volunteer deploys to aid in Florence efforts

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AKRON -- An amazing Red Cross volunteer, who at 87 years old could not wait to see where he could help hurricane victims, finally got his orders Friday morning.

Bob Schneider has been prepared for this moment since Tuesday.

"I'm ready to hit the road," Schneider said.

As Tropical Storm Florence batters the Carolina coast, Schneider and others from Northeast Ohio are heading down to help.

They reportedly will be stationed in Macon, Georgia, but as soon as they get the all-clear they will go into the areas that were hardest hit by Florence.

Volunteer Cameron Fraser said, "The people need food and water. The grocery stores are all still closed; the restaurants are all still closed and so they then look to people like the Red Cross for some food and some water."

"It's when they get back to their houses that have been flooded out and they start cleaning up, when they don't have any power or gas or anything that they need fed,” Schneider told Fox 8.

Schneider's partner on the Florence mission, Linda Taylor said, "so we got a broom; we got a mop; we got a sponge, another little brush.  It's a rewarding sensation for me. I can’t explain how it makes me feel but it makes me feel good inside."

Schneider is retired from the U.S. Army Special Forces and has done this before, so he knows what to expect.

"Sometimes the stress is such that two weeks is enough because sometimes we put in long hours because we can’t leave; we can’t leave the kitchen until the last truck is in," said Schneider.

However, he says he can't just watch from the sidelines without doing something to help.

"I'm retired so every day is Christmas for me and I might as well be helping people instead of watching TV at home," Schneider added.

Two trucks from Akron and one from Cleveland were heading south Friday. In Macon, they will rendezvous with about 80 other trucks from across the country and wait to go where they are most needed.

More on Florence here.


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