Since early October the American Red Cross has been on the ground in communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew in the Southeastern US, providing urgent relief to tens of thousands of residents. As they often do during times of disaster, Long Islanders have generously answered the call for help by volunteering their time and by providing critical financial contributions to support Red Cross relief efforts.
Among the 15 Long Island Red Cross volunteers and employees who traveled south to help was Long Island Red Cross CEO Neela Lockel. Neela deployed to storm-affected towns in South Carolina for 10 days.
In a new video, Neela discusses her experience working alongside Red Cross teams from across the country.
“Hurricane Matthew caused significant flooding in parts of the state, upending thousands of lives,” said Neela Lockel, CEO, American Red Cross on Long Island. “It was an honor to play a part in delivering the mission of the Red Cross in South Carolina. I saw firsthand the difference our staff and volunteers make on the ground. Local residents were so excited to see us because they knew we would be able to help them figure out their next steps.”
Since Matthew began to make its way up the eastern coast, the American Red Cross has served more than 1.4 million meals and snacks and provided 105,000 overnight stays to people in need. In the weeks and months ahead, the Red Cross will work closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other nonprofits groups, faith-based organizations, area business and others – to coordinate ongoing relief and recovery efforts.
“I want express my thanks to all our selfless volunteers who deployed to help our neighbors in the south,” added Lockel. “I also am grateful for our generous donors on Long Island, including The Nature’s Bounty Co., who support relief efforts for Hurricane Matthew. Without your generous support, our live saving work would not be possible.”
“The work that we do through The Nature’s Bounty Foundation is important to helping people through their times of need, whether because of a natural disaster or anything else,” said Sonya Soutus, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer for The Nature’s Bounty Co. “Wellness isn’t always about health. Sometimes it is about helping to give people the resources and breathing room they need to start to rebuild and recover. The Nature’s Bounty Co. is proud to support those efforts.”
The American Red Cross responds to a disaster every 8 minutes. There are many ways for the public to help these efforts:
1. MAKE A DONATION. The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
2. ROLL UP A SLEEVE TO REPLENISH THE BLOOD SUPPLY. Right now, there is an emergency need for platelet donations in many areas of the country. Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients that must be transfused within five days of donation. Eligible blood and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment as soon as possible to help replenish the blood supply for patients in need. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
3. BECOME A VOLUNTEER. Join the Red Cross team and help respond to disasters down the street, across the country, and around the world. Learn more at redcross.org/gnyvolunteer or call 1-877-REDCROSS
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/LI or visit us on Twitter at @LIRedCross.