Shelter volunteers making life comfortable for others

Volunteers working hard

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - Thousands are sleeping in shelters right now in unfamiliar rooms with complete strangers.  But a group of volunteers are doing their part to make the situation as comfortable as possible.

The sound of the approaching storm at Oslo Middle School is muted by the twinkling of the ivories.

“I’m not a professional but I’m an artist," laughs Roy McLendon, Jr.  His wife works at the school, for now a shelter in Indian River County.  So McLendon, Jr. has been doing a little of everything.

“Unload cars, bringing them into the room.  Doing everything I can for the situation," said McLendon, Jr.

But it’s at the piano where he’s having the biggest impact.

“Music calms people down,” he says.

Sadie the service dog is who calms Pat Petersen down.  She and her sister, Joyce Sheets, who had come up from Boca Raton, now in what they call their own “Ritz-Carlton”.

“They were awesome," said Sheets.

“They have a great team here. They can’t do enough for us," said Petersen.

And then there were those not working at the shelter, who wanted to help. John Cunningham looked around to see what he had, and dropped off what he could offer: an array of blankets, sheets, and shoes.

“Why not.  If people need it, why not help them?  I mean there’s plenty of it to go around," said Cunningham.

And by "it", maybe he also meant a sense of community and friendship and good feelings during these stressful nights. 

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