The American Red Cross is now undergoing an historic transformation to streamline chapter operations, save precious donor dollars, improve service quality, respond more effectively too large scale disasters, and to prepare for the unthinkable. We have to!
This year, I began my eighth year as the CEO of the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana Chapter. Founded on April 5, 1917, this year our Chapter entered our 95th year of service to Northwest Indiana. It has been my privilege to know and work with the over 400 local Red Cross volunteers who have served in Northwest Indiana. I have been at many Red Cross locations and I can honestly say our volunteers are some of the most dedicated in the Red Cross network and have earned a well-deserved reputation for both hard work and warm hospitality. Through your generosity, these volunteers have the training and resources to respond when an emergency strikes in the lives of people next door, across the country and around the world.
In Northwest Indiana during 2011, the American Red Cross served 83 families, 328 local victims of disaster, and 1,044 members of the military and their families during times of personal emergencies. Emergencies and tragedies brought untold grief and sadness for lost lives and suffering. With your help, people in Northwest Indiana got a helping hand up so they could help themselves to recover. This year, people from the Midwest and Texas are recovering and rebuilding from devastating tornadoes and storms. All this was made possible by the generous contributions people made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund
Tragedies and emergencies also bring out the best in people. Our community came together through the American Red Cross to provide comfort and help to those in need. Although we cannot prevent war, calamities and disasters, we can alleviate human suffering and help people rebuild their lives.
When disasters strike abroad, hurricanes tear through our nation or home fires threaten our community, the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana is prepared 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to open shelter doors, serve meals and meet the needs of those affected. And the work of the American Red Cross of Northwest Indiana goes way beyond disaster response, as we strengthen our local community by empowering people to prevent and prepare for emergencies. No one knows when the next big disaster may strike, but we and our community can be ready through your generosity. Thank you so much for your support.