American Red Cross volunteer from Wamego assists those impacted in Hawaii

Published: Aug. 13, 2023 at 10:36 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - At least 93 people have been confirmed dead from what is called the deadliest wildfire to hit the United States in the past century.

The search continues for those who are unaccounted for and the death toll is expected to increase.

Volunteers are assisting in efforts to restore hope in those affected.

American Red Cross volunteer from Wamego, Shelley Houser, said it takes passionate people to come together to help.

“Some of us are put in different positions. They’re basically helping people in the shelter doing whatever they need,” said Houser. “If they need help setting up cots, if they need help getting blankets, if we need to stand at the door to make sure that it’s only the affected people that are comin in, we don’t want any outsiders coming into it. So, each one of us has a different position that we do.”

The shelter that Houser is assisting at is currently housing around 300 people.

Houser said many of those affected are in shock and need comfort and to share their stories.

“Coming here to the shelter, you get the chance to talk to them and just be there to give them a hug and listen to them,” said Houser.

Houser said that cots are lined, side by side, in the shelter. Outside of the shelter are tons of donated supplies that are available to those impacted to come and pick up.

“It is very fulfilling and you’re helping and you feel like you’re really doing something,” said Houser. “They are so appreciative of us being here, but we are the ones that feel blessed being able to help them.”

To donate: Text FIRERELIEF to 51555 or visit!/donation/checkout

All the designated gifts – 100% - will be used to support those affected by the disaster.

Message and data rates may apply. For more details, go to!/donation/checkout