(CHARLOTTE, N.C. - July 23, 2017) - The Red Cross shelter remains open since last Monday morning's fire at Woodscape Apartments displaced 130 people from their homes. Relief efforts move from response to recovery, and progress is being seen.
"The generosity of our community has been overwhelming and heartwarming," said Angela A. Broome Powley, regional executive officer, American Red Cross Western North Carolina Region. "One of the most rewarding aspects of what we do as Red Cross, is being able to help families in the most dire of time, but we don’t do this alone. We do this with the support of our volunteers and our neighbors, individuals and community organizations."
Following Thursday's meeting of community partners convened by the Red Cross, needs were identified and matched with organizations who may be able to provide services. We can now say that a few of the families have found places to rent and are negotiating leases. A couple of families have moved into new housing and referrals are being made for furniture to replace what was lost.
Clothing donations have filled two gymnasiums. So much so that New Hope Baptist Church, Crisis Assistance Ministry nor the shelter can accept any additional donations at this time. They have reached capacity.
In addition to providing health services, referral assistance, meals, and a safe place to sleep, volunteers have been working daily with the children at the shelter who have lost all sense of normalcy. The Simmons YMCA opened their pool on a couple occasions and many of the children enjoyed a break from the shelter and the heat.
"For anyone who questions what a difference a hug can make, all you have to do is spend a day at a shelter," said Powley. "Nothing feels as good as helping a neighbor in need."
BY THE NUMBERS:
Saturday night 45 people stayed overnight at the shelter, up slightly from Friday night. More than 100 Red Cross volunteers have served nearly 1,200 meals and 950 snacks, handed out 120 comfort kits filled with personal hygiene items, and provided nursing services and mental health counseling to 127 people.
HOW TO HELP:
Anyone wishing to support the Red Cross Disaster Relief Operations may do so at redcross.org/nc, by calling 800-RED-CROSS or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make an immediate $10 donation.
To volunteer now and be trained before another disaster impacts our community, visit redcross.org/volunteer to begin the application process.
To help the Red Cross by donating blood, please visit redcrossblood.org to find a convenient collection location or blood drive.
MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER:
While the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, one every 8 minutes, most of them are home fires. Home fires can happen quickly and claim lives and property. Families can keep themselves and their loved ones safer by checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home. For more information about home fire preparedness, visit www.redcross.org/NC.