Nebraska Volunteers Aid Hurricane Sandy Victims on East Coast

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Folks in Nebraska are sending help to people on the East Coast affected by Hurricane Sandy, which was down graded to a tropical storm once it hit land.

The storm has already forced 375,000 people from their homes.

One group is hoping their quilts will help Sandy's victims start over, meanwhile the local chapter of the American Red Cross is sending volunteers to aid in the recovery process.

Helen Steinmeyer has been making quilts like these for disaster victims and orphans for three years. Her latest could be headed to Hurricane Sandy victims on the East Coast.

"It's needed and if you've lost everything where do you start. At least to have a warm blanket to wrap up in or sit on or whatever," said Quilter Helen Steinmeyer.

Steinmeyer has help from a small group at Assembly of God Church, as well as a branch of the church called Convoy of Hope which distributes the quilts.

They're not the only Nebraskans helping out. The Red Cross has already sent two volunteers from the state and others are ready to leave once travel conditions improve.

"So feeding and sheltering all of the folks that are displaced from their home is number one," said Red Cross Executive Director Donna Titman.

Meanwhile, 10 students and staff from Union College are heading east to help. With planes grounded, the crew is driving instead.

They left in the middle of the night Tuesday and headed into the storm.

For many of the students, it's their first time responding to a natural disaster -- but they say they're ready.

"We are rigged right now to be a swift water response team like a swift water rescue squad. We are happy to do whatever gets given to us. It may be handing out blankets. It may be feeding people or may be doing rescues out on the water," said Mattew Russell, response team member.

10/11 was there as the group hit the road around 3 a.m. Tuesday

The students are all trained for this type of situation.

It's part of the international rescue and relief program at Union College.

While the East Coast shuts down, Red Cross officials say they need your help more than ever, especially when it comes to blood donation and financial support.

"This is a huge disaster that has an impact on hundreds of thousands and millions of people," said Titman.

As Steinmeyer has shown through several disasters now, Nebraskans don't shy away from helping.

"Your heart goes out to them when you realize they are losing everything or may lose everything. It's very sad to see," said Steinmeyer.