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Disaster Victims Need Your Help Now

Red Cross workers distribute relief items in South Carolina.

Red Cross workers distribute relief items in South Carolina.

The water flooded the whole place.

Imagine how you would feel if a disaster hit your community and you lost your home, your clothes, everything you hold dear.

In the last several weeks, this is just what has happened to thousands of people whose lives were changed forever by the devastating flooding that has inundated communities in Texas and South Carolina. These people still need support and the American Red Cross is there, helping residents rebuild their lives.

People like Willie Cannon whose Hopkins, S.C. home was damaged by floodwaters. “The water started seeping under the back door, and it flooded the whole place. There was water up to here,” he said, motioning to the middle of his calf. “Everything was floating.”

Or someone like Amador Martinez and his family whose South Austin, TX, family home has been hit by severe flooding twice in two years. He and his seven-month-pregnant wife, Rosalba, were forced to head out on foot through nearby woods to get to safety. The couple picked up their three children at school and the family checked into a Red Cross shelter. For the second time, they have lost everything, but are happy to still have each other.

PLEASE HELP NOW The Red Cross will be helping people like Willie and the Martinez family for weeks and months to come, at the same time responding to other emergencies, including helping people whose homes are destroyed by fire. The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year in the United States – and the vast majority of these are home fires.

People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

RED CROSS RESPONSE The recent severe weather in Texas damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. The Red Cross is providing shelter and meals, distributing relief supplies and meeting one-on-one with people to assist them in getting the help they need.

In South Carolina, Red Cross emergency response vehicles were on the move, delivering cleanup supplies. Red Cross workers helped conduct damage assessments—going house to house in flooded neighborhoods to ascertain what survivors would need. Red Cross caseworkers met one-on-one with affected residents to create recovery plans, help them navigate the sometimes-bewildering paperwork and connect them with available resources.

As of October 27, Red Cross workers have provided the following assistance in South Carolina:

  • More than 154,000 meals and snacks
  • More than 181,000 relief items including comfort kits, work gloves, buckets, trash bags, masks, shovels, rakes and bleach
  • More than 6,600 health and mental services
  • Since the flooding began in Texas, the Red Cross has provided the following:

  • More than 20,300 meals and snacks
  • More than 13,500 relief items
  • More than 4,800 health and mental health services
  • HOW YOUR DONATION HELPS The Red Cross depends on the continued support of the public to help people affected by disasters big and small. The donations to Red Cross Disaster Relief are put to good use. Any donation, large or small, will help. For example, $2.50 can provide a comfort kit containing personal hygiene items for someone in a disaster; $5 can cover the cost of a blanket; and $10 the cost of a hot meal. A $50 donation can cover the cost of food and shelter for a day, including three meals, blankets, comfort kits and the Red Cross expense of mobilizing them to the disaster area. Learn more by visiting the Red Cross Disaster Services information on redcross.org.

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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