Volunteer disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois responded to 34 fires from Monday, March 2 through today in the Chicago & Northern Illinois area in Alsip, Arlington Heights, Evanston, Machesney Park, Palatine and more, with 17 of these fires taking place in Chicago.
In the past week, the Red Cross helped 180 individuals, including 120 adults and 60 children with temporary housing, food, clothing and comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services and health and mental health services.
In addition, the Red Cross opened two temporary reception centers this past Saturday. One center was located at Lincoln Avenue School in Dolton to help 15 families that were displaced by a fire at a multi-unit building. Our volunteers provided financial assistance, meals, water and snacks to residents impacted. The second reception center was opened at Ignotz Ristorante in Chicago to assist nine families that were displaced by an apartment building fire in the 2300 block of S. Oakley Ave. The Red Cross provided financial assistance, disaster mental health services and health services to those affected.
The American Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day in Chicago and Northern Illinois. You can take two easy steps to protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. The Red Cross also installs FREE smoke alarms year-round. To schedule an appointment to get a free installation in your home, visit www.getasmokealarm.org. Learn more about home fire safety here: English/Spanish.
Four local volunteers are among the 320 Red Cross volunteers from across the country assisting with relief efforts in Tennessee after powerful tornadoes hit Nashville and surrounding areas. Volunteers Richard Arons, David Langenstraas will be providing disaster mental health services to those affected. Meanwhile, volunteer Sheree Kutter will assist people with information and resources they need in their recovery and Jean Burton will be providing health services. With the help of partners, the Red Cross has three open shelters where more than 180 people have sought refuge. So far, the Red Cross and partners have provided more than 47,000 meals and snacks and distributed nearly 10,000 relief items like shovels, rakes, trash bags, work gloves and tarps. The American Red Cross continues to work with local and state officials to determine what additional assistance is needed.
You can help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. To donate by check or to a specific cause, please complete this donation form by printing and mailing to your local Red Cross chapter.
March is Red Cross Month
The Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois also continues to celebrate the dedication of its volunteers and encourages people across our region to join in supporting the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross.
On March 25, Red Cross Giving Day, donate at redcross.org/givingday to #help1family who loses nearly everything to a disaster. Your gift can provide hope and urgent relief like food, shelter and other essentials. Donations are key to saving lives because they fund nearly 100 percent of Red Cross disaster relief activities.
You can also visit redcross.org/IL/chicago to make an appointment to donate blood, register for a class in lifesaving skills like CPR and First Aid, or become a volunteer for opportunities such as:
Disaster Action Team Member: When a disaster like a home fire displaces a family from their home, trained volunteers respond to ensure that they don’t face it alone. As part of a team, help local families by wrapping a blanket around their shoulders, addressing their urgent needs like food and a safe place to stay, and connecting them with recovery assistance.
Home Fire Campaign Volunteer: Want to spend a rewarding day teaming with fellow volunteers to help local families in need? Install free smoke alarms and help residents create home fire escape plans through the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has saved hundreds of lives.
Blood Donor Ambassador: Are you friendly and outgoing? Red Cross Blood Donor Ambassadors ensure that blood donors have a pleasant and fulfilling experience from the moment they arrive at a blood drive to the moment they leave.
Blood Transportation Specialist: Are you a dependable, safe and courteous driver and looking for a meaningful way to help save lives? You can be the critical link between blood donors and recipients. Volunteers are responsible for regular routes and are on standby for emergency runs.
Find more information about volunteering opportunities by visiting redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at redcross.org/IL/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.