When disasters strike, partnerships are a key component to the success of the response effort. That’s why the American Red Cross has strong partnerships with organizations throughout the country to provide hope and help to those in need.
Partnering with the Teamsters Union amid Sandy
When Hurricane Sandy devastated communities in New Jersey and New York last October, the Red Cross partnered with the Teamsters Union to help reach affected individuals and families.
Roy Gillespie, a Teamsters human rights commissioner and member of Joint Council 13, helped coordinate disaster response efforts. Gillespie worked closely with Chris Jordan, director of Field Logistics and Technology and Disaster Services at the Red Cross.
“The Teamsters have been invaluable,” Jordan said. “It’s a great partnership. Teamsters offer logistical support, labor and equipment. The work the Red Cross does is 93 percent volunteer, so help from Roy (Gillespie) and the Teamsters has been critical.”
Gillespie is the union’s man when disasters strike. “When somebody needs something the Teamsters can do, we make it happen,” Gillespie said. “Every time Teamsters get involved, others realize what we’re capable of.”
On the ground in Sandy affected areas, the Teamsters helped direct Red Cross resources to neighborhoods where food, water or other supplies were needed. Local 812 made sure that Long Beach residents received pallets of water. Local 202 arranged for a truck of fresh produce from the Hunts Point Market to help feed the community. And when milk was requested, Local 584 called upon Elmhurst Dairy to ensure that kids were able to drink fresh milk for the first time in days. Local 808 and 210 delivered cleaning supplies and 802 sent baked goods.
In November, following the destruction of Sandy, the Red Cross and the Teamsters worked together on a massive push to get bulk supplies to people as temperatures dropped and snow threatened. More than 150 trucks went from the Red Cross warehouse to each staging site. The trucks also traveled into the affected neighborhoods, going door-to-door to bring goods directly to people in the hardest-hit areas.
A Vital Link to Communities
With partners like the Teamsters Union, the Red Cross can deliver assistance that no one organization can do on its own. These partners not only help supplies get into the hands of people in need, but they provide a vital link between the Red Cross and the communities we serve.
Today, approximately five months after Sandy’s landfall, donations to the Red Cross are helping people with food, emotional support and long term assistance. And in the days ahead, the Red Cross will continue to work closely with our partners, including government agencies and other nonprofits in a coordinated way to help people on the road to recovery.
Learn more about the Red Cross ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy.