WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Big Country chapter of the American Red Cross has announced its first-time participation in Texoma Gives.

Kara Nickens spoke with morning anchor Carney Porter to provide locals with information on how they can give back to a nonprofit that has graciously served its community.

Carney Porter: Well, Kara Nickens is joining us now from the American Red Cross. She’s here to tell us all about how you can help the organization and its mission to help the community during times of disaster when some of those we’ve seen recently. So thank you so much for being here today.

Kara Nickens: Yeah! So I started recently as the executive director for the Big Country chapter, which serves Wichita Falls, Abilene, San Angelo, Brownwood and all parts in between. And, you know, the Red Cross does disasters about every 8 minutes around the world.

But we have local disasters here as well. We had that downburst storm recently, and there were people that had property damage, but they also lost electricity. So we provided cooling shelters for them and their pets. And then we partnered with Evangel Temple Church to have a night shelter for them. And then we had the recent multifamily fire at the apartment complex where we went out. And we want to provide money for people because they need immediate assistance for food, shelter, clothing. But they also need someone to hold their hand and say everything’s going to be okay.

Carney Porter: Right.

Kara Nickens: I mean, can you imagine going home this afternoon and everything you own is gone or destroyed?

Carney Porter: It’s crazy.

Kara Nickens: It is. It’s life-changing. And so they need someone there to walk them through the process. And so we provide case management services, help them get those lost documents, and then link them with other organizations in the community as well.

Carney Porter: And with that, you know, all of those things you provide, you kind of need some help doing it, whether it be volunteer-wise or financial. But you are a part of Texoma Gives, which is coming up in about a week or two.

Kara Nickens: Yeah, and this is American Red Cross’ first year to participate in Texoma Gives. We’re super excited, and we couldn’t do the work that we’ve done in our community since 1881 without the support of our community. So if you can donate financially, please do so, it’ll help us help our neighbors in need. And if you can’t, we totally understand, but please volunteer. Your time is just as valuable and you can sign up to volunteer at RedCross.org/volunteer.

Carney Porter: You heard her right there. And we’ll have that information over on our website if you’d like to give or participate. Thank you so much. We appreciate you being here.

Kara Nickens: Thank you. Good to see you.