As three Hawaii Red Cross volunteers head home after an exhausting two week employment, four more local volunteers left for New York this week and five more will be leaving shortly to help victims of Superstorm Sandy, bringing the total number of Hawaii Red Cross volunteers to 31. This is likely to be the biggest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years, with over 5,700 Red Cross workers from all 50 states supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. About 90 percent of these workers are volunteers.
“We are sending Red Cross volunteers from Kauai, Maui, Molokai, the Big Island and Oahu to help those in need on the East Coast and to bring back invaluable experience to help ensure that each island will be able to respond when the next major disaster strikes our islands,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO, American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter. “We have had five near major disasters in the past five years (Hurricanes Flossie and Felicia, and three tsunami), so it’s just a matter of time that something big will hit, and we need to do everything we can to get ready for it.”
The American Red Cross continues to provide food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to the many people still struggling to recover. Shelters remain open for people unable to return home and volunteers continue to drive through neighborhoods to hand out food, water, and relief. So far the Red Cross has served 6 million meals and snacks and 2 million relief items. As Thanksgiving nears, the Red Cross will be working with a range of community and faith-based groups to get Thanksgiving meals to people in the areas affected by Sandy. The needs are far from over as people continue to clean out their homes and struggle with housing issues, and the Red Cross will continue to provide help to area residents well into the foreseeable future. Visit http://newsroom.redcross.org for more information.
HOW TO HELP
To donate, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. People can also use the “donate” feature on the free Red Cross Apps to support the Red Cross relief response. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013 or to the American Red Cross - Hawaii State Chapter, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.
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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.