You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Red Cross Helps Victims of Western Wildfires, Midwest Floods

The American Red Cross is on the ground helping as wildfires continue to burn in California and residents of Illinois and Wisconsin recover after floodwaters covered their neighborhoods.

Thousands of people impacted by these disasters are looking to the Red Cross for help. Please click, text or call to donate to the Red Cross to help people affected by disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Every single donation brings hope to those in need.

You can help people affected by disasters like flooding, wildfires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.


Early on July 12, 2017, southeastern Wisconsin residents woke to rainwater filling their homes. A few days later, Mother Nature struck again; creating flash floods in the southwestern part of the state, leaving residents and communities devastated with the worst flooding in Wisconsin since 2008.

As people began the clean-up and recovery process, the Red Cross opened 10 shelters. More than 2,000 flood victims were provided with clean-ups kits filled with necessary items, such as mops, gloves, bleach, all-purpose cleaners, and masks, to begin the clean-up process. The Red Cross also provided more than 5,500 people with essential relief items and participated in Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC) where people can visit multiple agencies to receive help.

Colleen Manderfeld, Walworth County, Wisconsin, is suffering from leukemia and her home flooded when her sump pump failed. She visited the MARC and asked about what assistance may be available. Because of her illness, any growth of mold or risk of getting sick can be detrimental to her health. She received cleaning supplies, bleach and information about what additional help was available.

“Colleen had a remarkable sense of personal pride and a positive attitude which she learned from her mother. It takes an even bigger person to ask for help.” shares Amber Finley, a disaster responder. “A hug, a meal, financial support and all the little things we could do to show them it was going to be O.K. was what today was about.”

In Illinois, Melissa never expected a Red Cross shelter would be home for herself, her husband and her 10 children. But after July's heavy rains flooded her first floor apartment in North Chicago, her family's temporary address became a Red Cross shelter.

The Red Cross provided shelter and meals for multiple days for her and her large family. Red Cross volunteers made special accommodations for clothing for all the children and diapers and formula for the baby. They passed the time watching movies, doing crafts with Red Cross volunteers and playing with their new stuffed animals.


In California, wildfires have burned thousands of acres and forced people from their homes. Red Cross disaster workers are providing shelter, meals, relief supplies and meeting with individuals to help them plan their recovery.

Janet Kirkland has been in the Hunter’s Valley community for the past thirty years and can make anyone smile When California’s Detwiler Fire hit, she had her emergency bag ready to go. With a suitcase in hand packed for three days, a fireproof case with her important documents, and her dog, Janet was able to evacuate in less than five minutes. With her possessions in tow, Janet just needed a safe place to stay. That’s when she found herself at a shelter in Oakhurst, ran by the American Red Cross of the Central Valley. “I would have been sleeping in my car if Red Cross didn’t have a shelter for me,” Janet said

Rick and Ronda Rozanek had left their Lake Cachuma, California campsite for the day when they heard about the Whittier Fire evacuations. Stranded in a new place with just the clothes on their back, they found relief in the Red Cross emergency shelter at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California

They were grateful for all the small touches that volunteers made to make their stay easier, such as the Red Cross comfort kits full of hygiene items. While it wasn’t the way they anticipated spending the evening, Rick and Ronda were determined to make the best of their situation – what they called, the most unique “date night” they’d ever had.

CORPORATIONS HELP The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.

ADGP $1 Million members are: American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; The Clorox Company; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Disney; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; General Motors Foundation; Grainger; The Home Depot Foundation; LDS Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Mazda North American Operations; Microsoft; Nationwide Foundation; State Farm; Target; UPS; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and The Wawa Foundation.

ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Boise Paper; Capital One; Cisco Foundation; Citi Foundation; Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation; Discover; Edison International; Farmers Insurance; Ford Motor Company; Humble Bundle; John Deere Foundation; Johnson Controls; McDonald’s Corporation; Medtronic Foundation; Meijer; Merck Foundation; Mondelēz International Foundation; PepsiCo Foundation; Procter & Gamble Company; Reynolds American Foundation; Ryder; Southwest Airlines; Sunoco; TD Ameritrade; The TJX Companies, Inc.; United Airlines; and Wells Fargo.

Disaster Responder Program members are: Adobe; Alcoa; Alliance Data; Astellas USA Foundation; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; AXA; The Ball Foundation; BNY Mellon; CarMax; Cox Automotive; DTE Energy Foundation; Duke Energy; Entergy Corporation; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; IBM Corporation; IHG Foundation; Ingersoll Rand Foundation; The J.M. Smucker Company; Land O’Lakes, Inc.; Mastercard; Morgan Stanley; Neiman Marcus Group; New Balance Foundation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Prudential Foundation; SC Johnson; SERVPRO; Southeastern Grocers Home of BI-LO Harveys Winn Dixie; T O Y O T A; U-Haul International; United Technologies Corporation; The USAA Foundation; U.S. Bank; and Visa.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Donate Now

Support all the urgent humanitarian needs of the American Red Cross.

$10.00 is the minimum online donation amount. All donations are tax deductible.