The American Red Cross remains on the ground, with volunteers across nearly half of the state of Louisiana helping the thousands of people who have lost everything they own in the devastating flooding last week. But the relief organization reports a significant gap in funds raised.
To date, the Red Cross has received approximately $7.8 million in donations and pledges designated to support Louisiana – not nearly enough to cover the estimate of at least $30 million in costs.
“The situation in Louisiana remains critical,” said Louise Welch Williams, chief executive officer for the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross. “People need help right now. We urge people to please consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today to support the people of Louisiana.”
Williams, who saw the devastation first hand this past week, explained, “I met many families who have lost everything; they have no homes to return to when the floodwaters do recede. We are helping thousands of people like this. However, not nearly enough donations are coming in to cover the cost, so we are sounding the alarm, urging people in this country to remember the folks in Louisiana and make a donation today.”
HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.
Almost 2,000 Red Cross disaster volunteers from every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are helping along with hundreds of local volunteers. As of August 22, the Red Cross and local, state and national partners have already:
· Served more than 260,000 meals and snacks. In partnership with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, four kitchens are cooking meals.
· Distributed more than 60,000 relief items.
· Deployed almost 90 disaster response vehicles to help distribute food, water and relief supplies.
· Provided more than 40,000 overnight shelter stays. Sunday night almost 3,000 people were still seeking refuge in 19 Red Cross and community shelters.
· Handled more than 17,000 calls from people seeking information and help.
· Mental health disaster volunteers are providing emotional support to people faced with an extremely situation.
· Health services disaster volunteers are monitoring the health needs of people in shelters and replacing things like lost wheelchairs, eyeglasses and medications.
Learn more here how the Red Cross is giving people a place to go when there is no place to go through the words of one woman who has lost everything.
More than 70 Red Crossers from South Carolina are supporting the disaster relief operation in Louisiana, with several more deployed to help families affected by the wildfires in California.
Local officials are estimating that more than 110,000 homes have been damaged. Each day, the Red Cross is able to get into more and more neighborhoods, and volunteers are working tirelessly to provide assistance. In some areas, residents are still experiencing flooding, while other neighborhoods are facing the challenge of cleaning up. Where possible, the Red Cross is beginning to distribute food and relief supplies.
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App now to be ready in case of a disaster in their community. They can use the app’s “I’m Safe” button to connect with their loved ones. The Emergency App can be found in the app store for someone’s mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to can%20be%20found%20in%20the%20app%20store%20for%20your%20mobile%20device%20by%20searching%20for">redcross.org/apps.