By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – A Rochester Hills couple is driving over 1,100 miles to make a difference.


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Jaine Barner and Raymond Bongartz are two of 600 trained workers traveling cross-country to lend a hand after Hurricane Ida made landfall in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi.


The pair packed up a supply van Sunday on a mission to bring hot meals to families in Baton Rouge.


“I personally am responsible for the whole region of Michigan for these particular vehicles, so we have multiple of those,” said Bongartz, “The Red Cross has them in multiple chapters in Michigan. And so, it is something where every time we have such an event, and we need the drivers to take those vehicles to, you know, where the biggest need it.”


It’s been four years since the couple first signed up to volunteer with the Red Cross.


Since then, their efforts have taken them on missions in Oregon and Florida.

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Now, they’re on assignment to provide relief services to Hurricane Ida survivors.


“And so, we basically just come in and get assigned a route to feed a certain region or so of people on a daily basis and however often is necessary,” said Bongartz.


According to the Red Cross, over 2,500 people sought refuge in 60 community shelters in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.


“Well, the thing I like about it is everyone respects the Red Cross,” said Barner. “You know, along the way, everybody’s like, ‘hey, are you going down to help?’ and we say yes. You know we can see the support of the community is there, and that’s really nice to see in times like this.”


For more information on Ida relief services, dial 211.

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