It’s hard to recall a more relentless chain of wildfires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and tropical storms and hurricanes than the events that have occurred so far in 2008. Thankfully, the American Red Cross has been there to answer these challenges with massive disaster efforts across America.
Since January 2008, the Red Cross has responded to thousands of house fires and more than 60 large-scale disasters—hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires—which have steadily depleted the Disaster Relief Fund.
The big, visible disasters easily spur people to help those affected. But when media attention wanes, we struggle to pay for the services we provide. For example, the Red Cross is still on the ground feeding and sheltering those in Louisiana who returned after Hurricane Gustav to find their homes damaged or without power, while also providing assistance for those that have been affected by Hurricane Ike. We estimate we will spend $40-$70 million on our relief efforts for Gustav and, so far, we have raised only a fraction of what is needed.
The Red Cross launched a national fundraising campaign to raise an initial $100 million for the Disaster Relief Fund, depleted by these disasters. This fund ensures that wherever and whenever a disaster strikes—be it a major hurricane or a small house fire—the Red Cross can help.
Your donation to the Disaster Relief Fund ensures the Red Cross can operate shelters and provide meals for evacuees and disaster workers. It buys things like food, cots, blankets, toiletries and clean-up supplies. Donations also ensure we can move our volunteers into the region to provide vital services like counseling support and first aid. Please consider making gifts to replenish the Disaster Relief Fund, especially planned gifts whose benefit may be realized both now and in the years to come. Help us deliver hope for a better tomorrow.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800 REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, PO Box 37243, Washington, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.
For information on making planned gifts, please contact the Gift Planning Office at 1-800-797-8022, ext. 5, email@example.com or log on to www.redcrosslegacy.org.