This year the American Red Cross helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. Local volunteers responded at all hours of the day with food, blankets and comfort to help more than 5,000 people in the region with nowhere else to turn after home fires from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2014.
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois also provided financial support to 1,166 households after home fires to help replace lost belongings and begin the long road to recovery. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the community every 8 minutes and the vast majority of these are home fires.
“While tornadoes, floods and hurricanes tend to dominate the headlines, people often underestimate the frequency and devastation caused by home fires, and that’s where the Red Cross comes in,” said Fran Edwardson, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “Our work doesn’t end after the smoke clears, every day local volunteers are helping people to recover and get better prepared.”
Curbing Deaths and Injuries from Home Fires
Because of the high number of home fires in this country, the Red Cross launched a campaign this year to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. The organization is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Since the campaign launched in October, the Red Cross—in partnership with fire departments and community groups nationwide—has already reached more than 29,000 people by installing 17,000 smoke alarms. These efforts have already saved five lives nationwide.
In the Greater Chicago region, preparedness teams worked with schools, youth organizations, municipal and community groups to raise awareness of disaster risk and build resiliency among people of all ages. More than 115,000 people learned emergency preparedness skills such as building a supply kit and making a household safety plan.
Our work is made possible by the generosity of the American public. You can help people affected by disasters big and small by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables us to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. You can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About our Corporate Holiday Supporters: During this holiday season, the American Red Cross is grateful for those corporate supporters that generously contribute to our Holiday Giving Campaign. They include: Circle K West Coast and Florida Divisions, FedEx, Mazda and its Dealers and Target. Thanks to the generosity of these and other supporters, the Red Cross is able to bring help and hope to people across the country. This holiday season, you can Give Something that Means Something by making a financial gift or donating life-saving blood. To learn more about our corporate holiday supporters, visit redcross.org/corporate-holiday-supporters.
The generous investments from the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program enable the Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
The 2014 members of the Red Cross ADGP are: Wells Fargo; Wawa; Walmart; VSP℠ Vision care for life; UPS; United Technologies Corporation; United Airlines; The TJX Companies, Inc.; TD Ameritrade; Target; State Farm; Sprint; Southwest Airlines; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Samsung; Prudential Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Nationwide Insurance Foundation; National Grid; Mondelēz International Foundation; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meijer; Medtronic; Mazda North American Operations; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Kraft Foods Group Foundation; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; Johnson Controls; John Deere Foundation; Humble Bundle; The Home Depot; Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation; Grainger; GE Foundation; FedEx Corporation; Edison International; eBay Inc.; Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Disney; Discover; Dell Inc.; Darden Restaurants Foundation; Costco Wholesale Corporation; ConAgra Foods Foundation; Citi Foundation; Cisco Foundation; Caterpillar Foundation; Capital One; BNY Mellon; Bank of America; Aon; Anthem Foundation; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; American Express; American Airlines; Altria Group; and 3M.
The 2014 members of the Red Cross Disaster Responder Program are: Western Union Foundation; U.S. Bank; UBS Americas; T O Y O T A; Swiss Re Foundation; Sunoco; State Street; Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Foundation, Inc.; Starbucks Coffee Company and Starbucks Foundation; San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E); Ryder; Residence Inn by Marriott; PuroClean; PSEG Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Morgan Stanley; MetLife Foundation; Marsh & McLennan Companies; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; H&R Block; H&M; General Motors Foundation; Ford Motor Company; Farmers Insurance; Delta Air Lines; The Clorox Company; Carlson Rezidor Hotels; Bi-Lo Holdings parent company of BI-LO, Harveys and Winn-Dixie; Ball Foundation; AXA Foundation; AT&T; AstraZeneca; ArcelorMittal; Alcoa and 1-800-BOARDUP.