‘I want to help’: East Tennessee woman heading to Louisiana to help Ida victims

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CLINTON, Tenn. (WATE) — Like most of us, Clinton mom Julia Short has been seeing devastating images from Hurricane Ida online and on television.

“I see a bunch of posts on Facebook about people who were needing to get rescued and people who were stuck in their homes, and it just made me worry. So on my way to taking my kids to school, I sat there and I imagined what if those were my kids. What if it was me and we were stuck in a house, what if it was us in that situation?” Short said.

The thought of her own family experiencing that kind of danger was enough for Julia to make an immediate decision. “I sat there and wondered, what if it was me making those posts? I would hope that somebody out there would come for us. And so I got to thinking and I just had this rush of emotion of I want to help.”

In a few days, Julia plans to load up her SUV and take the 9-hour drive to New Orleans. Right now, she’s going alone.

“I’m going down as myself with no organizations. I’m just kind of figuring out where I need to meet somebody. I’ve been researching churches that also need help. Somewhere I can just kind of make my route from top to bottom the best I can and stopping where I’m needed,” Short said.

She’s signed up to volunteer with organizations in Louisiana and she is CPR and first aid certified. She’s hoping those skills will come in handy when she gets there. This is new territory for Julia. She’s never volunteered during a natural disaster, but she says this is what Tennesseans do.

“We’re the Volunteer State, so if I’m going to live here and be a volunteer, I’m going to at least live up to the expectation and volunteer wherever I can,” Short said.

Short says she’s been coordinating with a few other people on Facebook who also have an interest in going. She’s using the rest of this week to gather supplies. She plans to leave this weekend.

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