Red Cross Outlines Its Efforts To Date

Just mind-boggling, when you think about it:

From late Aug. 25, when Hurricane Katrina first slammed into the southeast coast of Florida through 5 p.m. Sept. 4, the Red Cross had opened 470 shelters and evacuation centers in 12 states and had sheltered 135,535 men, women and children. The shelter census of 118,556 for the night of Sept. 3 sets a Red Cross record for one-night accommodation. Nearly half of that shelter population -- 56,387 -- was housed in 74 centers in Texas, with an additional 41,135 in 133 shelters in Louisiana and 12,870 in 102 shelters in Mississippi.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross has served more than 2.6 million meals and more than 3.3 million snacks to storm victims and rescue workers. In addition to the food being provided at shelters, tens of thousands of people are being served from 249 Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

In order to accomplish this extraordinary level of relief, nearly 5,000 trained Red Cross disaster specialists have been deployed in 13 states and at the Red Cross national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Recruitment is continuing and local chapters across the country are expanding training for thousands of spontaneous volunteers who are willing to make the priceless donation of their time and skills to this enormous humanitarian outreach.

If you haven't donated yet:

American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of this and thousands of other disasters across the country each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need. Call 1-800-HELP NOW or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting here.

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    Re: Red Cross Outlines Its Efforts To Date (none / 0) (#1)
    by aw on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:19 PM EST
    I'm glad somebody knows what they're doing.

    Re: Red Cross Outlines Its Efforts To Date (none / 0) (#2)
    by Quaker in a Basement on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:19 PM EST
    Good enough for me. I had been waiting to see if my Quaker peeps at AFSC were going to have a plan. So far, they haven't posted one. So I'm in. I gave to the Disaster Relief Fund, not the specific Hurricane Katrina fund. They can use my dough however they want to.

    Re: Red Cross Outlines Its Efforts To Date (none / 0) (#3)
    by bad Jim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:19 PM EST
    I'm gratified to learn that my contributions have done some actual good, as they generally do; humanitarian works are generally starved for funds. It pisses me off. My charitable contributions ought to be directed to deserving institutions of choice, like my favorite blogs or the opera. Humanitarian concerns like the survival of fellow creatures and their habitat ought to be more robustly funded. At least in the USA the social compact has yet to come into existence.

    Re: Red Cross Outlines Its Efforts To Date (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:03:20 PM EST
    I hope your contributions have done some "actual good," but providing this housing wasn't it, as noted elsewhere:

    This skewed giving to Red Cross would be fine if the Red Cross were paying for the cost of the 80,000 people they are expertly sheltering in 240 designated shelter sites; but FEMA and the 4 affected state governments (including Texas which will shelter up to 75,000 people) are reimbursing the Red Cross under pre-existing contracts for emergency shelter and other related services. The existence of these contracts is no secret to anyone but the donating public.

    No one's contributions are paying for that relief - tax dollars are. The American Red Cross just really, really doesn't like to reveal that. The Lambchop has more on why the American Red Cross may not be the best place for your donations. Please do give generously to a relief organization that you trust, though.