New Pioneer Valley Red Cross headquarters shown to members - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

New Pioneer Valley Red Cross headquarters shown to members

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Sunday marks the three year anniversary of the Springfield tornado that left behind a 6.2 mile long path of destruction in the city.

Today, the Red Cross, who continues to play a huge role in the recovery process, opened its new headquarters' doors to members.

One Red Cross employee, Brenda Brouillette, told CBS 3 Springfield Wednesday night that she was on Boston Road when the tornado touched down in Springfield.

"I think it was a wake-up call that disasters can and will and do happen and even when we think we are prepared, we always have to step it up and bring it to the next level and capacity building has to be key in our mind," Brouillette said.

The halls of their current Red Cross building were flooded with volunteers, she said. Phones were ringing off the hook.

"That outpouring of wanting to help was incredible," Brouillette said.

The community came together and the Red Cross joined forces with many other organizations to help Springfield.

Soon, they'll be able to help in an even bigger way in their new 16,000 square foot home.

"This new facility is really going to help us do our job better," Brouillette said.

On Wednesday night, local Red Cross board members showed off the new space, which is still under construction.

"It dramatically improves our ability to service the communities," board chair Sarah Corrigan said.

The new headquarters will soon house all of the Red Cross services and the Springfield Blood Donation Center.

"It'll be one stop shopping, one Red Cross."

All under one roof with one mission: To bring shelter, food and support to victims of disasters.

"It's an organization that cares about people," Corrigan said of the Red Cross. "It's made up of people with tremendous amount of heart and soul."

The new facility is expected to open in the fall.

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