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2 WNY organizations preparing to help with Hurricane Ian relief

A handful of local volunteers are heading down to Florida later this week with supplies and helping hands.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — They say Buffalo is the City of Good Neighbors, and a few Western New Yorkers are taking that to heart.

As the West Coast of Florida is expected to get its first direct hit from a hurricane in over 100 years this week as Hurricane Ian approaches, Andrew Loeb is one of many local volunteers hoping to help. 

“Maybe it's just sort of part of my DNA. I just feel you have to help," Loeb said. 

"It probably is scary, but I don't think of it that way. I just think of the need that the people have.”

Loeb is one of four Western New Yorkers on stand by to fly down to Florida with the Red Cross and provide relief in the aftermath of the potentially devastating storm.

“I don't like to see bad things happen to good people,” he said, explaining why he made this decision. 

“If there's something that you can do to help them, then you know what why not?”

Loeb and the Red Cross aren't the only Western New York organization lending a hand.

Eight Days of Hope a national natural disaster relief organization with a headquarters in Buffalo is set to head down as well with supplies like cleaning wipes, diapers, engine fuel and trailers equipped with restrooms and hot showers.

“Think about this, you go back to your house, you left, you come back home in three or four days, and two-thirds of your house is gone,” said Steve Tybor, president and founder of Eight Days of Hope.

“I really think people are always looking for ways to give back. We're just a conduit,” he added.

Eight Days of Hope will be joined by 150 local volunteers who will spend the next two-to-three months helping people rebuild not just their homes but their lives.

“When you serve people and you love people, you might leave exhausted, but your hearts gonna be full,” Tybor said.

While there isn’t much the volunteers can do until the storm passes, both organizations are using this time now to gear up before springing into action when it does. In the meantime, they are still accepting as many donations and as many volunteers as they can get.

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