In less than a week, American Red Cross volunteers helped 59 people whose Lowcountry homes were damaged or destroyed by fires and the organization says that community support is key to their being able to respond and assist these families with everything from a place to sleep to diapers for a baby. These fires, which included several single family homes and three fires that affected a total of 12 townhomes and five condos, all occurred in less than 72 hours.
“What touches me the most about these fires are the people whose homes are lost. The families come up to us days, weeks, months, and even years afterwards and say that they don’t know what they would have done without the Red Cross,” said Louise Welch Williams, chief executive officer for the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross is meeting the immediate needs of the families affected by these fires by providing a variety of services, including temporary housing, financial assistance for food, clothing and infant supplies, comfort kits with personal hygiene items, and referrals to partner agencies to assist them with their long-term recovery.
“It’s the support of the community, through financial donations, volunteering, and partnering agencies, that enables us to quickly respond when we are needed most,” said Williams. “When we arrive at the scene of a home fire or other disaster, people know that we are there to help.”
Every day, around the clock, in South Carolina, Red Cross volunteers help families affected by disasters. The Red Cross is the only social service organization at the scene of residential fires providing immediate emergency relief of temporary shelter, financial assistance for food and clothing, and other related needs.
The Lowcountry SC Chapter of the American Red Cross will be providing free information about how families can stay safe from home fires, as well as other disasters, during their “Giving Back On Giving Day” event tomorrow, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. at 2424 City Hall Lane in North Charleston. Besides home fire information, volunteers will be teaching free Citizen CPR courses on the hour, demonstrating the new Emergency App, and giving tours of the Emergency Response Vehicle.
Those interested in donating blood will be able to visit the bloodmobile at the Lowcountry SC Chapter from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To make an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
To help neighbors affected by disasters become a Red Cross volunteer or make a financial contribution to the Red Cross by visiting www.redcross.org/SC or during Giving Day on May 5.
In South Carolina, the American Red Cross, on average, responds to a disaster every four hours. Because of volunteers and financial assistance from the community, the Red Cross was able to help more than 7,000 individuals affected by disasters, the majority of those being home fires, in S.C. last year.