GREENSBURG, Pa. – The American Red Cross continues to provide food, supplies, emotional support and health services in communities recovering from flooding in the Midwest even as the organization supports sandbagging operations in nearby states that are flooding now. In Illinois, the Red Cross continues to operate shelters across the state while also distributing cleaning supplies, comfort kits, buckets and mops.
The local Red Cross in Western Pennsylvania is doing its part to assist the relief operation in Illinois and across the Midwest region. The organization is deploying Lawrence Smeltz of Mt. Pleasant to Peoria, Ill. to supervise Red Cross service delivery to those affected by the inundating floodwaters. In his role, Smeltz will oversee the Red Cross workforce to ensure that all affected will receive proper assistance.
Smeltz joins several other volunteers who have been deployed from the Western Pennsylvania Region, including Mary White of Moon Township (Peoria, Ill.) 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.).
NATIONWIDE RESPONSE Along the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota, the Red Cross is supporting sandbagging efforts by providing water and snacks as river levels have been rising. More than 1,100 Red Cross staff and volunteers across the Midwest have served more than 81,000 meals and snacks, provided more than 1,400 overnight stays in shelters, and handed out nearly 40,000 relief items since the floods began April 17. The Red Cross will be helping people get back on their feet for some time after this flooding. The Red Cross is also prepared to open additional shelters and has more volunteers and supplies on hand if flooding occurs further downriver.
HOW TO HELP Over the past 10 years, the Red Cross has launched 127 large relief operations to help people affected by floods in 38 states. 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. To support Red Cross disaster efforts, please make a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief at redcross.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. People can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.