BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Red Cross in Baltimore has deployed dozens of volunteers to the Gulf Coast, many on their way this weekend.

Marylanders are already pitching in to help stranded Texans, with almost 40 volunteers already there helping and many other are on their way to the hardest hit areas.

At the Red Cross in Baltimore, the bags are packed.

About 80 volunteers like Lynn Hottel are hitting the road to answer a call for help 1600 miles away.

“Every time I get a call, I accept, I’m gonna go. And then the next few hours I go — what was I thinking? Why am I doing this?” she says.

They’re doing it for Texas, where catastrophic Hurricane Harvey has left a path of destruction, and deadly flooding has left thousands in desperate need.

Volunteers are driving right into the disaster zone, with no idea what they might encounter or who might need their help.

Crews are bringing food, cots, and blankets for 20,000 people.

Even mental health counselors, like Hottel coach victims through the grief of losing a home, a pet, or a loved one.

“Trying to help them find places to live. That’s the primary thing. And in really bad, devastated areas, that’s a challenge. Because there is no housing,” says Hottel.

The challenge is only the beginning for the thousands in Harvey’s destructive path.

Relief is on the way thanks in part to Charm City.

“It’s a hard deployment. You’re working long hours and you’re moving around and doing a lot of things, but it’s incredibly worthwhile.

The Red Cross is also working with local government officials in Texas and Louisiana to coordinate the response.

To find out how you can help or to donate to the Red Cross CLICK HERE.

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