Over the years the Rapides Chapter of the American Red Cross evolved into the Central Louisiana Chapter, taking on the responsibilities of a nine-parish area that includes Allen Parish (the northern half), Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, Grant, LaSalle, Rapides, Vernon and Winn. The Central Louisiana Chapter serves military personnel at Fort Polk, Camp Beauregard, and the Colfax Coast Guard unit as well as military personnel and their families living within the chapter's nine-parish jurisdiction. The expanded area encompasses most of the state's designated Sector A sheltering area; the Central Louisiana Chapter now focuses heavily on sheltering during hurricanes which affect the Louisiana coast.
In 2005, the Central Louisiana Chapter responded to the greatest natural disaster ever faced in the United States, Hurricane Katrina, closely followed by Hurricane Rita, by providing over 187,000 overnight stays, 1.1 million meals, and tens of thousands of financial assistance applications. More than 2,600 families living in Central Louisiana alone received $2.5 million in assistance from Red Cross.
Each year, the Central Louisiana Red Cross continues to support our neighbors by responding to approximately 150 home fires, 40 families after tornadoes or other storms, and 500 military families who come to Red Cross for help.