Another Red Cross volunteer prepares to leave for tornado recovery

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Mary Jo Sherman, of Monmouth, is leaving for Louisville, Kentucky Tuesday morning.

The death toll from those deadly tornadoes stands at 39.

Parts of Indiana and Kentucky were hardest-hit.

That’s where some Quad City Red Cross volunteers already are.

“I dropped to my knees and cried. What do you do? My mom’s lost everything she has.”

For tornado victims across the Midwest and South in places like Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, the extent of the damage from the storms is just now being fully realized.

“We feel so helpless. We’ve got to do something to help all these people.”

Hearing the cry for help, are volunteers like Patti Franklin, who left the Quad City International Airport early Monday morning for Lexington, KY.

“Some have lost their homes and things that are irreplaceable,” said Franklin. “Some have lost family members.”

She retired from the Red Cross two years ago, but still volunteers whenever she’s needed.

Last year, she spent one month in Alabama, where 250 people were killed after tornadoes touched down there.

“Last year was a nightmare,” she said. “I can’t imagine all of this is happening again this year.”

Despite the frustration of watching people suffer, the stories of survival and hope keep Patti going.

“It never ceases to amaze me how resilient people are.”

The Red Cross opened 25 shelters for more than 250 people in seven states, much-needed especially because of the blizzard conditions that are affecting some areas.

Indiana is also receiving some help from the Iowa Red Cross, which says a full team from the state could be called to help out in the recovery efforts.