Shoreview Woman Volunteers out East

Updated: 11/26/2012 10:31 AM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart

This thanksgiving weekend was a reminder of things to be thankful for. Sometimes it's hard to recognize what we're thankful for until it's gone. That's the reality for people on the east coast who lost their homes after Superstorm Sandy.

Many Minnesotans have volunteered to help out victims on the east coast. The Red Cross is one organization helping families cope with the devastation. One member of the twin cities chapter is Sue Buelow from Shoreview. In Minnesota, she works with mental health patients. She’s in New Jersey, and is with families as they see their destroyed homes for the first time.

She told 5 Eyewitness News several stories about what she has seen. One day that left an impression on her was about a mother who only wanted one thing from her destroyed home: moldings of her kids' hand and foot prints.

"Even though we would find other things and hold them up, she would say,  'I don't care.' She just wanted those foot and hand prints. When we had found them all, she just gave us a hug and was crying and hugging,” said Buelow.

This is Buelow’s first trip out of Minnesota with the Red Cross. It was a different Thanksgiving for her, too. She wasn’t able to spend the holiday with her son in Moorhead, and her sister-in-law who is finishing chemotherapy in the Twin Cities. Her daughter is in England. Buelow told 5 Eyewitness News she was able to make it through the holiday, because she was working with terrific Red Cross volunteers.

“I’m sad about being away from my family but the people out here are the real heroes, and I’m proud to be out here with them."

Buelow’s been volunteering at the Barrier Islands, which is one of the hardest hit areas. She had the opportunity to meet with Vice President Joe Biden when he toured the damage in the state.

Buelow comes home this week, after a three-week trip to the east coast.