Red Cross sends locals to help Debby response

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - Hurricane Ike in Texas, wildfires in California, tornadoes in Alabama. All have one thing in common: Pat and John DiBattista, Red Cross volunteers from Boynton Beach, helped clean them up.

"To be able to ship supplies to those people, to see how happy they were to get the supplies. They had nothing. There was nothing left, said DiBattista.

Monday night, they packed for their next assignment. They're two of the three volunteers being sent to Florida's west coast by the local Red Cross.

Depending on  the extent of damage, they'll coordinate distribution of relief supplies.

"I look forward to being able to help," said DiBattista.

DiBattista's devotion to the Red Cross started seven years ago, when he retired from the sheriff's department. It has become one of the biggest things in his life, along with his twelve grandchildren. Three of those grandchildren are living in the potential path of Debby.

Help, with a familiar face, is on the way.

"I told her I'm coming to save her. She started crying she was so happy," said DiBattista, of one of his grandchildren.

Unlike the other disasters he's responded to, this time, he'll help complete strangers, and those he knows best.

The Red Cross is sending another volunteer from St. Lucie County.

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