As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the American Red Cross would like to take this time to thank each and every person who has supported our mission during these last few demanding months.
This has been a period of unprecedented disasters affecting hundreds of thousands of people who turned to the Red Cross for help. Three immense hurricanes – Harvey, Irma and Maria –caused massive devastation for those in their paths. As if these storms weren’t enough, wildfires burned more than 218,000 acres in northern California, destroying some 8,900 structures including thousands of homes. Again, the country was confronted with a disaster of unparalleled destruction.
As each of these huge emergency situations put people in peril, you responded. Your generous financial donations enabled us to provide those affected with shelter, food and comfort. Your support allowed us to work alongside partners to deliver more than 1.3 million overnight shelter stays for people impacted by the hurricanes and wildfires, along with more than 10.6 million meals and snacks, more than 6.2 million relief supplies, and 229,000 health and mental health services.
In addition, the Red Cross helped more than 580,000 households get back on their feet with recovery assistance and helped families reunite with loved ones after losing touch with each other due to the disasters.
We are so very grateful to our corporate sponsors, our individual donors – to everyone who helped make these massive relief responses possible. Thank you for your financial donations and for your profound commitment to the American Red Cross and those we serve. Our work is not finished – we are working with local and state partners to help with long-term recovery in these affected communities, helping residents rebound and prepare for future disasters.
Of special note are our wonderful volunteers who did the work to make these ongoing relief responses possible. Their devotion to the Red Cross mission is inspiring and there are no words to express how grateful we are for their service.
More than 16,500 trained disaster workers, 91 percent of them volunteers, left their homes and loved ones behind to support people needing help. Many of them supported multiple operations or deployed multiple times. And not all of them will be home with their families for the holiday. Hundreds of our volunteers are still deployed, continuing to make sure those affected get the help they need. They will miss their own holiday celebration to bring comfort to others.
We here at the Red Cross would once again like to say thank you to all of you, and express our hope that everyone has a joyous, safe and peaceful Thanksgiving.