Red Cross, Salvation Army helping crash victims, first responders in Va. Beach


Posted on April 11, 2012 at 6:12 PM

VA BEACH - 23 residents of Mayfair Mews affected by Friday's crash of an Oceana-based F/A-18D Hornet and first responders are getting help from the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army spent nearly five hours at the scene on Birdneck Road Friday to give firefighters, police, rescue workers and even the media a short break from their work.

Volunteers will be back at the complex around 6:00 p.m. Saturday to serve franks and beans to those still working through the rubble.

"We'll stay until the need is filled," said Matt Pochily, spokesman for the Salvation Army.

Many people have asked how they can help the victims. Pochily says it's too early to donate household goods because they still don't know the full need for residents and so many don't have any place to put any donations. 

He says the best way to help is to give monetary donations, no matter how small. The money will buy food and help pay for hotel stays. To make a donation, call 1-800-SalArmy or text tday10 to 80888,

The Red Cross was helping residents with food, clothing and lodging immediately after the crash.

"Our mission is to the help those affected get back on their feet," said spokesman Rob Shapiro.

At the Red Cross shelter set up at Birdneck Elementary School, volunteers interviewed residents to find out what happened, what they needed and got them squared away, putting them up at hotels.

The Red Cross also is helping residents deal with the emotional trauma so they can take the next steps towards recover.

"The emotional health of these people is as important as anything. Red Cross has a volunteer team of disaster mental health professionals - these are psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers - ready to talk to them because they went through a very traumatic event."

Saturday morning, Red Cross disaster volunteers will be available in the area to provide follow-on assistance as needed including disaster mental health services.

Anyone affected by the accident who needs emergency assistance should call the Red Cross at 757-536-9859.