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American Red Cross Response to Saipan Update 8-27-15

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“My house flew away. I’ve been devastated.”

Larry Naputi, of Saipan, (picture attached) isn’t a typical American Red Cross volunteer. The organization has many loyal and dedicated volunteers to help with disaster relief efforts, but most aren’t trying to recover from a devastating disaster themselves. When Typhoon Soudelor hit Saipan on Aug. 2, Naputi’s home was completely destroyed. “My house flew away. I’ve been devastated,” Naputi said. A few days after the storm passed Naputi decided he needed to help his community and began volunteering with the Red Cross. “I feel like I’m helping people. This isn’t about me; this is about the people and the Red Cross is really helping.” 

Since the storm hit, Naputi has been working long hours at the Red Cross office nearly every day unloading and loading relief supplies. “People with a heart like Larry’s will help Saipan fully recover,” said John Hirsh, Executive Director of the Red Cross Northern Mariana Islands Chapter. “We sincerely appreciate his hard work during this difficult time in his own life.” 

Through Aug. 26, The Red Cross has served almost 7,500 people by providing nearly 30,000 meals and snacks, more than 1,900 cleanup kits and more than 75,000 bulk items such as food, water, soap and toilet paper. Those in need also receive emotional support and health services.

In some situations, the Red Cross may provide direct financial support to people who need extra help. In fact, the Red Cross has provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in financial assistance to nearly 2,000 families.

The community can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Donors can also make a donation specifically to the American Red Cross Northern Marianas Islands Chapter by emailing Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes, typhoons and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires. 

Those in need and who have not already contacted the Red Cross should call 234-3459. This call is free when made with most prepaid phones. Those seeking assistance should only visit the Red Cross office with an appointment. 


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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.