During a second straight year marked by record-breaking emergencies, American Red Cross volunteers from NYC, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley have answered the call to help around the country and right here in Greater New York.
“In this time of incredible need, it’s been humbling to see my Red Cross colleagues carry out our mission with such urgency and compassion,” said Josh Lockwood, Regional CEO, American Red Cross in Greater NY.
This year, massive wildfires scorched more than 8.5 million acres—in California alone, residents have suffered back-to-back years of the most destructive wildfires in state history, with the Camp Fire being the most severe. What’s more, six major hurricanes impacted the United States in just three months, devastating communities across nine states and U.S. territories. Red Cross volunteers also provided crisis counseling and other support to communities affected by six tragic shootings, including those in Parkland, Florida; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Thousand Oaks, California.
Since the beginning of the year nearly 200 Red Cross volunteers and employees from this region have deployed out of state and at times outside the continental US to support many of these relief efforts. This includes several Red Cross team members currently in Northern California.
“Our volunteers represent the best of this region and the best of this country,” said Lockwood. “Thank you to all who have put your lives on hold for weeks at a time to help others.”
Here in Greater New York, the Red Cross has provided emergency relief following more than 2100 disasters across the region since the beginning of the year.
These included high-profile incidents like the multiple-alarm fire on December 3, 2018 on Grand Concourse in the Bronx that left dozens homeless as well as the daily disasters that don’t make the news but that disrupt lives and displace families. At each of these incidents, Red Cross teams made up of mostly volunteers, rush to the scene to deliver relief: emergency housing, food, clothing, emotional support and other assistance.
Among the approximately 11,000 local NY residents who turned to the Red Cross for help so far this year was Queens (Elmhurst) resident Zaydah Abdghull, who lost her home of 40 years to a fire this past May.
“I don’t know what would have happened to me without the Red Cross,” said Abgdhull. “They were very comforting. Very comforting.”
Throughout the year, the American Red Cross in Greater NY also helped make communities safer and more resilient by installing tens of thousands of free smoke alarms in area homes; by teaching health and safety skills like CPR, water safety and first aid; and by empowering local families with vital disaster preparedness skills. Along with these services the organization also collected lifesaving blood and offered support to service members and their families.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and countless other crises by making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small across the United States. Please consider making a donation today. Visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends goes to its programs and services, which includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support and other assistance, as well as supporting the vehicles, warehouses, technology and people that make help possible.
The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP members: American Express, Citi Foundation, IBM, PepsiCo Foundation, Tata Consultancy Services
Disaster Responder program members: AXA Equitable Life, Assurant, Barclays, HSBC, Mastercard, Morgan Stanley
About the American Red Cross:
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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @NYRedCross