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Midlands woman helps Virginia Beach community after tragic shooting

The American Red Cross sends what is called 'disaster spiritual care' after disasters and mass shootings to communities in need.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — (WLTX) -- When tragedy struck Virginia Beach, a Midlands woman went to help. Just days after a gunman killed 12 people in Virginia Beach Holli Emore went to help the community alongside American Red Cross.

"Wherever I've been people are so hurt," Emore said. "They say, how could this happen where I live."

Emore has helped previously in what is called disaster spiritual care for Red Cross. She has been sent as a chaplain after the Las Vegas massacre and here in Florence when multiple officers were shot.

While in Virginia Beach, she attended memorial services and went to the family assistance center. But she said ultimately being present for those who needed it most was the biggest part of the job.

"Just to listen and provide compassion. We don't have answers, we don't even pray with every body, we are there to witness their pain and that's been found to be very effective healing," Emore said. 

Emore shared at one of the memorial sites it was hard for her not to get overwhelmed with emotions.

"I went to a memorial where they had made posters into yard signs and had them outside this church, and I stopped and looked at each person," Emore said. "I thought, this is as close as I am going to get to these people who I will never know. And I started to get choked up and I just went to each one and kind of silently paid my respects." 

Emore assured the community of Virginia Beach that the palmetto state is here for them.

"The people of South Carolina weep with you and send our healing and love, and you will continue to be in those thought and prayers as they say, but it's very sincere and personal," Emore said.

Emore returned back to Columbia from Virginia Beach this past weekend. She said she feels those working with the American Red Cross impacted those who needed it in Virginia.

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