Carmel companies create Red Cross call center for tornado victims

(WISH Photo/Laura Kennedy)

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Even though the Kokomo shelter is now closed, people in Kokomo affected by the tornadoes are still reaching out for help.

Red Cross call center volunteers take dozens of calls from people needing help each day.

Two Carmel businesses have set up a temporary call center.

A Carmel business’s conference room has been transformed into a Red Cross call center. So far this week, they’ve helped nearly 100 Indiana families.

“We’ve all been trained by the American Red Cross how to be volunteer case workers, so we’re thrilled to be able to help other Hoosiers,” CNO Financial Group CIO and Senor Vice President Brad Bodell said.

Two Carmel companies, CNO Financial Group and TCC, have come together to staff the call center.

Bodell is a board member for the Red Cross, so that’s how he learned about the need.

“They asked if we could provide some volunteers to help staff a call center or have some case workers go into the field to help assess things,” he said.

The company employees are working half day shifts to take and make calls for victims of the Kokomo tornadoes.

“We find out if they have insurance information, we talk about their food needs,” he said.

“We are really concerned with their most immediate needs, food, shelter things like that,” Red Cross Regional Communication Director Duchess Adjei said.

She said without volunteer call centers like the one at CNO, disaster victims wouldn’t get help as quickly.

“I think people don’t realize this is a huge necessity,” she said, “And having folks that are making phone calls on behalf of the Red Cross and they’re Red Cross trained, I think it’s huge for the long term for us.”

She hopes the new volunteers might decide to help again in the future, on or off the clock.

The Carmel call center runs until Friday, then other locations will take over.

A number to call for Red Cross aid is 765-459-4162.

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