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Shelter of Hope Raises $500,000

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American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties’ Shelter of Hope Campaign Raises $500,000 for Local Disaster Relief

The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties concluded its annual Shelter of Hope campaign on May 15 upon reaching the $500,000 fundraising goal. The campaign began on May 1 with a mock disaster shelter visiting seven different San Diego County locations in eight days. On May 8, the Shelter of Hope entered “overtime” and local Red Cross CEO Bill Earley committed to staying in the mock disaster shelter every night until the $500,000 goal was reached.

With a final $40,000 coming from anonymous donors, a $10,000 donation from Kaiser Permanente and numerous donations from the public, the Shelter of Hope finished shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday, May 15.

“This year’s Shelter of Hope is the best one yet in terms of dollars raised, community engagement and awareness built for what our local Red Cross does day after day,” said Bill Earley, CEO of the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. “The money raised will fund food, shelter and immediate needs for families displaced by home fires and other disasters, install smoke alarms in underserved communities to prevent home fire deaths, fund critical preparedness initiatives to make our region more prepared for the next major natural disaster, and so much more.”

This year, Earley stayed in the shelter for a total of seven nights after seven different local community leaders logged the first seven nights of the 2017 Shelter of Hope campaign. The campaign started on May 1 with SDG&E’s Senior Vice President of Electric Operations and American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Board Chair Dave Geier sleeping in the Shelter of Hope on the first night of the campaign.

“What drew me to the American Red Cross is how the organization’s mission aligns with SDG&E’s focus on safety,” said Geier. “When we’re out in the community talking about safety, the Red Cross is often next to us, helping to make sure families know what to do if disaster strikes. Their work can save lives.”

Earley spent 16 nights in the Shelter of Hope in 2016 and nine nights in the 2015 campaign. Across all three years, nearly $1.1 million was raised for local disaster relief.

Locally, the Red Cross responds to one disaster almost every 24 hours and relies on donations to support the many people receiving assistance each day. It costs an average of $550 to help one family of three recover from a disaster. Over the past year, the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties has responded to 314 incidents and assisted 519 families, including nearly 1500 individuals.

Shelter of Hope was developed in San Diego as a way to draw awareness and raise funds toward fulfilling the Red Cross mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.

Please visit for more information on the Shelter of Hope.