The American Red Cross, as well as many other organizations, local authorities and community members, will be working through the Thanksgiving holiday to assure Hurricane Sandy victims’ needs are met.
“Red Cross Disaster Volunteers and staff will be working all day on Thanksgiving to make sure hot meals arrive where they are needed most, along with more cleaning supplies, diapers and comfort kits,” said Alison Bono, Regional Director of Communications for the Central and Northern Michigan Region. Bono will be in New Jersey through the holiday assisting with the hurricane relief effort. “Some families will be seeing their homes for the first time during the next few days and will need our support dealing with their loss.”
There are currently 5,134 Red Cross disaster responders in 11 states, assisting Hurricane Sandy and Nor’easter victims. The Central and Northern Michigan Region has deployed 56 volunteers and staff members to the East Coast. The amount of open Red Cross and independent shelters has decreased dramatically, with only 10 shelters currently open and 661 residents.
“The American Public has been very supportive of the Red Cross relief response to Superstorm Sandy, and we thank them for their support. Their donations are making a difference, enabling us to spend tens of millions of donated dollars providing food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to people affected,” said Bono.
The American Red Cross has an extensive feeding operation in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention, with kitchens and fixed-feeding sites set up as well as meals being distributed throughout the affected neighborhoods. So far more than 6.4 million meals and snacks have been served.
Since the response began weeks ago, the Red Cross has handed out more than 3.6 million relief items, including cold weather items and clean-up supplies.
“The Red Cross will be here for many more weeks,” Bono said. The Red Cross hopes for all to have a safe Thanksgiving holiday and to remember the victims of Superstorm Sandy are still recovering and still need our help.
HOW TO HELP The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross needs the public’s help now. People can make a financial donation by visiting www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
GIVE BLOOD The storm has also caused the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives, resulting in a loss of as many as 11,000 blood products.