As families impacted by this weekend’s tornadoes pick up the pieces, volunteers from North Texas are headed that way to help.
The first group of American Red Cross volunteers left from Dallas on Monday morning, heading to Little Rock, Arkansas.
"Today’s team that is going first will be a team of eating experts,” said American Red Cross spokesperson Anita Foster. “They know how to get into an area that doesn’t have electricity, maybe doesn’t have running water, and still in spite of that get hot meals moving."
This morning’s team of volunteers won't be the last -- teams will be leaving throughout the day and there are hundreds more volunteers on standby.
The Red Cross expects to help tornado victims in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas for quite some time. Volunteers will help with the basic needs of those impacted by the storms including providing food, clean-up supplies, and mental health support.
"We want to make sure our disaster mental health teams are on the ground, as well, helping people cope with the emotional aftermath of such a tragedy," said Foster.
Each volunteer will go on a 21-day assignment, then return home to North Texas.
Frank Scarlata has been an American Red Cross volunteer since 2010.
"It’s an opportunity to give back to the community and to help with the needs as they develop," said Scarlata.
He will be driving the first food truck up to the impacted area. Scarlata says he is ready to serve the tornado victims.
"When we get into a neighborhood we will broadcast on a loud speaker and tell them we are in the area with a hot lunch or hot dinner," said Scarlata. "They just come to us."
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Red Cross officials request that those who want to help victims of the tornado provide monetary donations. Click here to make a donation to the American Red Cross.