Public Responds Generously with $211 Million in Donations and Pledges to Date to Help Survivors of Hurricane Harvey
WASHINGTON, Wednesday, September 6, 2017 — The American Red Cross today announced it has raised $211 million in donations and pledges to date to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey, with more still coming in. The organization estimates its disaster relief and recovery efforts, in response to the largest flooding disaster in U.S. history, could cost hundreds of millions of dollars more and last many months and even years.
The Red Cross has spent millions already providing food, water, shelter, relief supplies, health and mental health care to tens of thousands of people – and that is just the start of its efforts. In places where floodwaters have receded, the Red Cross is fanning out across neighborhoods delivering meals, relief supplies and cleaning items such as buckets, mops, bleach, shovels, etc. to help people take care of flood damage in their homes. On Friday, it plans to announce a substantial new assistance program to help with the immediate needs of hundreds of thousands whose homes have been severely affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support across the country that has enabled us to help survivors of Hurricane Harvey with safe shelter, meals, care and comfort—and our work is just beginning,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “As many return to their homes, they will face heartbreaking challenges—and the Red Cross will be there as they struggle to rebuild their lives and regain hope.”
In response to Hurricane Harvey, the Red Cross has mounted a massive relief effort and is spending donations from the public on the following:Along with partners, providing approximately 186,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters across Texas. Serving more than 906,000 meals and snacks with the help of partners.Mobilizing more than 3,100 Red Cross disaster workers currently on the ground in Texas with more than 400 on the way. Sending trailers of kitchen supplies throughout the affected areas to support 16 partner kitchens, each able to produce 10,000 meals a day. Activating more than 190 emergency response vehicles to help deliver meals and relief supplies in affected neighborhoods.Providing mental health and health services professionals who have made nearly 30,000 contacts to provide support and care to evacuees. Distributing more than 194,000 relief items like diapers, cleaning supplies, coolers and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items.
The Red Cross keeps its expenses low to ensure that 91 cents of every dollar it receives for Hurricane Harvey will be spent to provide services to people affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Red Cross receives the highest ratings for Accountability and Transparency from independent non-profit watchdogs like Charity Navigator and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
“We are going to honor the wishes of our donors, and after the emergency relief part of work, we will use remaining donations for Hurricane Harvey to meet the longer term needs of individuals and communities affected by this disaster,” said McGovern.