Photo courtesy of Trish Badger. Water blankets the city of Houston in the flooding after Hurricane Harvey.
We are all united in our concern for those that have been impacted by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, Hurricane Irma in the Southeast United States and Caribbean, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the earthquake in Mexico. The American Red Cross, a United Way of Central Missouri partner agency, is working around the clock to provide shelter, food, comfort and other emergency support to victims of these devastating disasters. As part of this effort, American Red Cross affiliates from all over the nation have been called on to provide immediate volunteer assistance. Dave Griffith, our local Red Cross Executive Director, recently returned from ten days of service in Texas assisting with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. We are proud of Dave and all the volunteers from our community who go at a moment’s notice to help neighbors affected by a natural disaster.
But the Red Cross cannot do this important work alone. They work very closely with the entire response community – government agencies, other non-profit groups, faith-based organizations, area businesses and others – to coordinate emergency relief efforts and get help to people as quickly as possible. This is a time for communities to come together and support one another. Almost 6,000 Red Cross disaster workers and 276 emergency response vehicles are on the ground right now, helping thousands of people affected by these disasters.
In the last three weeks, the Red Cross and community partners have provided more than 890,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters due to disasters. Shelters were opened in 8 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Red Cross has served nearly 2.3 million meals and snacks to people in need.
If you would like to help the victims of these disasters, consider giving to a reputable organization with a history of disaster relief. Two suggestions are redcross.org and unitedway. org. Any donation, large or small, will help. You can also make a difference by volunteering. To become a Red Cross volunteer, register online at RedCross.org and click ‘Volunteer’. Thank you for standing United with us to help rebuild communities!