Republican presidential candidate John McCain lent a hand Wednesday, as
delegates to the Republican convention took time out to pack supplies
for hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast. The looming storm led
convention organizers to curtail opening day events Monday and appeal
to delegates to focus on gathering aid for the thousands of people in
the southern Gulf states who evacuated their homes as the storm
approached. Lisa Ferdinando visited delegates who were preparing relief
packages at the convention center in the northern city of Minneapolis.
volunteered their time Wednesday to pack toothbrushes, hand sanitizer,
non-perishable food and other essential items for the thousands of
affected residents of the Gulf Coast.
Gustav was not as destructive as originally feared, delegates still
volunteered their time Wednesday to help assemble care packages. The
Republican Party is working with the American Red Cross and
corporations donating goods and services to assemble 80,000
Judy Zakibe, a delegate from St. Louis, Missouri,
was among the volunteers.
"I believe everybody should give back, and
I've always done that for 50 years. I would do it anyway, but it's
always inspiring when someone says 'Let's everybody come together' and
many hands make light work," she said.
The American Red Cross
says it is on "high alert" as other storms are heading toward the
United States. Jan McDaniel, chief executive of the area American Red
Cross chapter, says the 80,000 bags are to be shipped to Louisiana and
Mississippi for distribution. "It's hot, they don't have power, so our
job is really to make sure they are comforted, they're sheltered and
they have food," McDaniel said.
Thousands of people were
evacuated from New Orleans as Hurricane Gustav made its way to
Louisiana, bringing back painful memories of the Bush administration's
slow response to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans three