FORT WORTH, TEXAS, Wednesday, May 22, 2013 — The American Red Cross is working around the clock to help people in Texas and Oklahoma after the past week’s devastating tornadoes with shelters, food, water and supplies. The BNSF Foundation has announced they are standing in partnership with the Red Cross, donating $100,000 to support disaster relief efforts, and encouraging their peers in the business community to join them.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people who have been impacted by these tragic weather events," said John Ambler, president, BNSF Foundation. “We are honored to be able to provide some assistance to those who were harmed by the tornado in Oklahoma Monday and hope that our contribution will encourage other individuals and companies to give to the disaster relief efforts.”
T.D. Smyers, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross North Texas Region, expressed his gratitude for the support of BNSF and their historic partnership with the Red Cross.
"Having BNSF as a partner has enabled the American Red Cross to help neighbors in crisis near and far,” Smyers said. “From key disaster logistics to crucial financial contributions, BNSF has significantly enhanced our humanitarian mission. I am grateful to continue our partnership as we put this generous gift into action on our relief efforts."
Since 16 tornadoes touched down in the North Texas area on Wednesday, May 16, the Red Cross has been on the scene in affected counties, providing more than 21,000 meals and snacks, nearly 9,000 relief items such as shovels, rakes and work gloves and opening three shelters for 88 people after their homes were destroyed in the storms. One shelter with ten residents remains open in Hood County.
In Granbury, Texas, the Red Cross opened a Joint Assistance Center where victims could receive aid from a multitude of community organizations and partners. An emergency aid station is providing Red Cross services in one, central location for victims in Johnson County.
In Oklahoma, the Red Cross deployed almost 30 emergency response vehicles to distribute food and relief supplies and more are on alert. Two Southern Baptist Convention kitchens and kitchen support trailers will join the relief effort with the ability to serve tens of thousands of meals a day.
Emergency aid stations in Moore will open where people can get food and snacks, mental health and health services and information about what help is available. The Red Cross is supporting first responders and working with local and state officials to make sure people get the help they need. Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to provide shelter in Shawnee and other parts of the Oklahoma City area following storms over the weekend.
HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.
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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.