PITTSBURGH – The American Red Cross is providing relief as floodwaters continue to affect people in the Midwest, while residents in Minnesota and North Dakota are preparing for the Red River to overflow its banks sometime next week.
The local Red Cross is doing its part to assist in these national relief efforts and has deployed Mary White of Moon Twp. to Peoria, Ill. for staff planning and support. In her role, White will recruit and place Red Cross workers and equip them with the tools they need for their positions. She will also track their assignments and make their lodging arrangements, among other tasks.
White joins several other volunteers who have been deployed from the Western Pennsylvania Region, including Donna Brown of Erie (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Rose Marie Malizio of Heidelberg (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Greg Matoka of McCandless Twp. (Peoria, Ill.), Paul Murphy of Punxsutawney (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and Jeanne Snyder of Wattsburg (Grand Rapids, Mich.).
MIDWEST FLOODING The Red Cross has shelters in three Midwestern states for people who cannot return home because of flooding. In Illinois, the Red Cross has opened shelters across the state as part of its largest sheltering operation in recent years for the area. Workers are providing emotional support as well as food and water to people forced from their homes and personnel fighting the floodwaters. Workers are also handing out relief items like comfort kits, cleaning supplies, buckets and mops.
The Red Cross has hundreds of volunteers on the ground across the Midwest that have served more than 42,000 meals and snacks and handed out more than 3,000 relief items to date. The Red Cross will be providing help for weeks to come and has additional volunteers and supplies on standby.
Over the past 10 years, the Red Cross has launched 127 large relief operations to help people affected by floods in 38 states. The organization has learned that floods can be especially long and costly relief operations as communities wait for floodwaters to recede before they can begin cleaning up their homes and neighborhoods.
BOSTON and WEST, TEXAS Meanwhile, the Red Cross is also supporting people in Boston and West, Texas in the wake of last week’s tragic explosions. In Boston, the Red Cross is supporting people attending memorial vigils as well as those visiting the Family Assistance Center. In West, the Red Cross is operating emergency aid stations to provide food, water, emotional support, health services and relief supplies as people are allowed to return home. Red Cross workers are also supporting a joint assistance center to help provide recovery resources to those affected. In response to these tragedies, the Red Cross has served more than 30,000 meals and snacks, handed out nearly 10,000 relief items, and provided 3,500 mental health and health services contacts
HOW TO HELP If individuals would like to help people affected by these and other disasters, they can make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at www.RedCross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. There is enough blood available now to help patients in Texas and Boston. Those who are eligible to give blood are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation time in the days and weeks ahead. To schedule a blood donation, people can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.RedCrossBlood.org. Those who want to make a donation to directly support the Boston Marathon bombing victims can visit www.onefundboston.org.