The American Red Cross Mile High Region and American Furniture Warehouse (AFW) launched an expanded partnership on May 8, 2013, to ensure that disaster survivors, refugees new to Colorado and veterans overcoming homelessness all have access to clean, new mattresses to rest upon in their new homes.
Red Cross workers picked up 70 brand-new mattresses donated by AFW from the AFW warehouse in Englewood yesterday and brought the mattresses to the Mile High Region headquarters in Denver so that they’re ready for distribution to clients who need them. The 70 mattresses are the first installment in an ongoing partnership between the Red Cross and AFW.
In the past, AFW has donated new mattresses for the Red Cross to provide to disaster clients, but the two organizations recently increased this partnership to serve other populations that the Red Cross assists: refugees and veterans.
“The Red Cross aims to alleviate human suffering in the face of disasters, emergencies and conflict. We do this, in part, by helping to meet people’s basic needs, including food, water, basic health necessities and shelter. And having a mattress to lie on instead of a hard floor is a pretty key component of long-term shelter:” said Tim Bothe, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces & International Services Regional Manager.
After a home fire or other disaster, mattresses are often completely destroyed or are unusable due to smoke or water damage; the Red Cross helps disaster survivors during the immediate aftermath of a disaster by providing them with temporary shelter, and then caseworkers follow up by connecting clients with resources for long-term recovery – often including mattresses and bedding as they start over in a new home.
The Red Cross mission also includes helping refugees – people who have fled their homes due to conflict or persecution. When refugees resettle in the United States, they often arrive with few resources and only about $1,000 in aid to help them settle into their new homes. AFW’s donation will enable the Red Cross to ensure that these refugees have clean, new mattresses for their new homes.
Finally, the American Red Cross has its roots in serving members of the Armed Forces, going back to founder Clara Barton’s role as the “Angel of the Battlefield” alleviating suffering and providing emergency communications to soldiers during the Civil War. That longstanding tradition continues with the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Program, which provides emergency communication, pre- and post-deployment support, family assistance, and support to veterans hospitals. Through the Veterans Administration (VA), the Red Cross is notified of veterans in need of specific resources that the Red Cross can help with. The new partnership with AFW will make it possible for the Red Cross to provide mattresses for veterans who are transitioning out of homelessness and into new homes.
“We are honored to assist the American Red Cross in their efforts to help refugees and veterans with these mattresses,” said Jake Jabs, President/CEO of American Furniture Warehouse.