Local Red Cross Waits to Send Volunteers to Haiti 

Catherine Pegram

The local chapter of the American Red Cross is holding off on sending volunteers to Haiti in the wake a devastating earthquake.But it is collecting donations for those in need. Officials with the Pine Tree Chapter say they’re waiting for the national headquarters to let them know when volunteers from Maine might be able to go to Haiti to help. Authorities say thousands of people, perhaps as many at 100,000, may have been killed by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Tuesday. They say it’s too soon to get an accurate count.Before sending volunteers, Red Cross disaster relief specialists are trying to assess the situation with the Haitian Red Cross. They’re also using cots, blankets and water from a Red Cross warehouse in Panama to help victims and survivors.Mainers interested in finding out about heading to Haiti can contact the Pine Tree Chapter 941-2903.Donations for earthquake relief can be made on-line at Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland is also responding to the disaster by taking up a special collection this weekend. Officials with the diocese are trying to get word on the status of people with Catholic Relief Services working in Haiti, as well as local missionaries serving in the country.