Local Red Cross Director flies to Maui in wake of devasting wildfires

Local Red Cross Director flies to Maui in wake of devasting wildfires
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 1:12 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Greater Kansas City and Northwest Missouri Chapter’s Executive Director JoAnn Woody is in flight to Maui.

She said the news reports, pictures, and videos just months ago worried her for the families and Red Cross workers on the ground.

She flew out of KCI Thursday around 5:30 a.m. and is expected to land there around 1:30 p.m. Central Time.

“I really believe with all my heart that to be a good representative of the Red Cross you need to experience the mission,” she said.

Thousands are still without a home after more than 100 days since the wildfires ripped through Maui. Four people are still missing.

“There are still more than 6,000 people in hotels right now in Hawaii because they can’t go home. There is no home. So right now, our focus is working on connecting families with other organizations and agencies to see what resources are there.”

She will work with partners from the federal, state, and local levels to move everyone on the same path toward safety and housing. A big goal of this visit is to connect people with programs available that they may not know are there.

“There’s no stronger way to be able to speak to who we are and what we do, the best way is by experiencing it.”

It’s a job Woody has worked in before, being in that liaison-type role working with officials, community members, and organizations.

“I think I can take some of those conversations off their plate and maybe help guide them a little through some different perspectives.”

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