Peninsula: Retirees off to aid victims of Hurricane Frances

PORT TOWNSEND — While many workers are sleeping in on Labor Day, George Williams is getting up early to catch the shuttle to Sea-Tac airport.

There, he will board a plane to Atlanta, where he will report for his assignment. He doesn’t know exactly what that assignment will be or how long it will take, but he does know he’ll put in long hours to get the job done.

“It’s not a vacation,” Williams said. “You can expect to work a 12-hour day; 10 to 12 is normal.”

Williams, 67, is a Red Cross volunteer who is on his way to Florida, where Hurricane Frances has left thousands homeless and 2 million without power.

A member of the Olympic Peninsula chapter of the American Red Cross, he is one of five retirees from Jefferson County, including his wife, Shirley, who are responding to a call for help.

“We were involved with Red Cross before 9/11, but 9/11 got a lot of people involved,” Shirley Williams said.

“It’s a good way to help people if you can be flexible.”

George Williams received a phone call at 7 a.m. Sunday, asking him to get on a plane as soon as possible.

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