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Sunday, February 5, 2023


Sept. 14, 2001 – Five Virgin Island American Red Cross volunteers were selected to go to New York Saturday to assist in disaster relief efforts.
"It's a little frightening," said Priscilla Hintz, who has been a Red Cross volunteer since Hurricane Marilyn. "We've been looking at the TV, like everyone else," Hintz said, "and we've heard people speak about Ground Zero, but we won't know until we get there what it will be like." Ground Zero is the name that's been given to the World Trade Center Towers site.
Hintz continued, "I really want to go –it's heartwarming to help people in need and touch people's lives."
Judith M. George, a retired school teacher, said Hurricane Marilyn inspired her to volunteer, "The Red Cross helped us then, "she said, "and we can help now."
Also traveling is Mae Wheatley, a Department of Justice victim liaison officer, Carla Challenger of the Legislature office on St. John, and Merla Kimbal, a nurse with the Department of Health.
The volunteers have their work cut out for them just getting there. Unable to get on a direct flight out of St. Thomas, they will travel to San Juan Saturday where they will overnight. Sunday they fly to Philadelphia, after which they will be driven to New York.
In New York all except Kimbal will work out of the Red Cross Center New York regional office. Hintz said there will be thousands of volunteers already there providing crisis counseling, shelter, meals and emergency support for victims. It will be the Virgin Island group's task to assign these duties.
Hintz is a public relations officer for both the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce and St. Thomas Dairies. "They both were happy to let me take the time off," she said. "All of us received encouragement from our bosses." She said they expected to be gone two to three weeks. "The Red Cross doesn't like to keep any volunteer on a disaster assignment like that any longer than three weeks," Hintz said.

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