A number of organizations right here in the Chicago area are deploying help to Houston. The help they’re sending will even help Chicagoans and others who are stuck in the middle of it all.

“You get a call one day, you’re ready to go within 24 hours,” says Houston-bound Eddie Jaramillo. “You don’t really have time to think about it.”

Jaramillo is flying down to Houston with the Chicago Red Cross Tuesday.

It’ll be the 17th time he’s been deployed to a disaster area, this one, most likely the toughest.

“It’s the chance you have to take,” Jaramillo says. “We do have a flight scheduled for Houston tomorrow and hopefully we’ll make it. If not, we’ll find our way.”

Celena Roldan is the CEO of the Chicago Northern Illinois Red Cross.

“When you think about what it may mean to shelter 10,000 people, 25,000 people preparing for the worst day Texas, maybe this country has seen,” Roldan says. “We need to make sure we have all hands on deck.”

The Red Cross joins a number of other local organizations heading down to Houston.

The Salvation Army in Elk Grove Village is also on standby to send food and supplies.

Darria Benton is a student at Texas Southern University from Chicago’s south suburbs. She says her campus is surrounded by water. Drria’s mother, Monica, is understandably anxious.

“Not being able to physically put your hand around your child and being that far away from home, it’s very nerve racking,” Monica says.

It costs more than $1,600 dollars to send just one Red Cross volunteer to help victims. And that’s only for two weeks.

That’s why organizations are asking for monetary donations over supplies. Those donations should be made directly on their website. There is also a need for blood donations.

“There were blood drives scheduled in Texas and Louisiana that have now been cancelled,” Roldan said. “That doesn’t change the need for blood.”

Chicago animal shelter PAWs is in contact with Houston officials determining how best it can assist pet owners. 

Published at 4:07 PM CDT on Aug 28, 2017 | Updated 5 hours ago

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