SOUTH CAROLINA OCTOBER 8, 2015 -- As rivers crest and new flooding threatens, the American Red Cross is providing safe shelter, food and comfort to people in South Carolina.
Nearly two dozen volunteers and staff members from the American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Region have joined in the recovery effort. They are on the ground in South Carolina helping to staff shelters, hand out warm meals and provide care and comfort to all those affected by the devastating flooding.
It’s that care and comfort that is so important to the Red Cross mission. On Thursday our own Anthony Tornetta spent time with the family of a 6-year-old girl who can’t go home because of the flooding. Our staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to care for these families. And that little girl showed her appreciation by drawing us a picture. We can’t say thank you enough for these tokens of gratitude. These moments of joy amidst the heartbreak show us all that we are successfully carrying out the Red Cross mission.
And we can’t thank our staff and volunteers enough for all they do. Many will be away from their own families for weeks or more as they help in South Carolina. We couldn’t carry out the Red Cross mission without our amazing volunteers.
But many of the families affected by the flooding will have a long road to recovery. Red Cross disaster workers are helping with damage assessment – going door-to-door in affected communities to see the damage and determine what help people need.
Here is a look at the South Carolina flood recovery by the numbers:
- More than 400 people spent Wednesday night in more than 20 Red Cross and community shelters in South Carolina.
- About 600 Red Cross workers are on the ground, providing shelter, food and water and relief supplies.
- More than 20 emergency response vehicles are helping distribute relief supplies throughout the region.
Since the flooding began, the Red Cross has worked with community partners to:
- Serve more than 41,000 meals and snacks
- Hand out more than 4,500 relief items
- Provide hundreds of health and mental health services
You can help bring back more smiles by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to support disasters big and small.
You can also help by giving blood. Since Friday, more than 50 blood drives have been cancelled in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, causing more than 1,260 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. As high floodwaters continue in some areas, additional blood drives could be cancelled in the coming days. All eligible donors in parts of the country unaffected by flooding are encouraged to call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment to give blood.
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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.