This week the American Red Cross of the Central Valley has been providing warmth, comfort, and safety for Summerset Village Apartment residents in Fresno. Over 200 families in the Southeast Asian refugee community have been without gas, leaving them without the means to cook, keep warm, or even shower.
The Red Cross, in partnership with Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM) and local government partners, has stepped in to provide hot meals, warm blankets, and showers for several hundred residents. To date, Red Cross volunteers have distributed over 800 blankets to help keep residents warm while the gas lines are repaired. The local Red Cross disaster team is also coordinating with the Southern Baptist Convention to provide mobile showers and hot meals.
STAYING PREPARED DURING DISASTER With cold weather arriving in the Valley and apartment residents using non-traditional heat sources to keep warm, the Red installed over 160 free smoke alarms for this community. Dozens of volunteers canvassed the apartment complex on Tuesday, visiting more than 130 homes to educate families on fire safety and install free smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
“We have a responsibility to help keep these vulnerable communities safe before a disaster ever strikes,” said Executive Director Barry Falke, “By installing these alarms and teaching these families how to make an emergency game plan, we’re saving lives.”
Red Cross volunteers were joined by volunteers from FIRM, the Public Health Department, CERT, CARE Fresno, and other agencies.
HOW TO HELP Officials estimate that the hundreds of residents of the Summerset Village Apartments will be without gas for at least three weeks. The Red Cross and other non-profits rely on the generosity of the community to provide services and support to local families in times of disaster.
To donate physical items like new electric blankets or to volunteer your time for this specific disaster, please call FIRM at (559)487-1500 or drop off your donations at 1940 N. Fresno St., Fresno, CA 93703.
The Red Cross is able to install free smoke alarms and educate families through the Home Fire Campaign thanks to community support. Call, click, or text to make a financial donation to the Red Cross. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS, click by visiting redcross.org, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN RED CROSS CENTRAL CALIFORNIA REGION
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The American Red Cross Central California Region provides services to the ten counties across Central California that is home to more than 4 million people.