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Last week, severe spring storms brought devastation to communities throughout the country (“Dozens killed as twisters tear up Midwest, South,” April 30). American Red Cross disaster relief workers are providing assistance and emotional support to those who are affected.
The American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio knows the anguish and hopelessness of these events all too well. Since last July, we’ve responded to more than 320 incidents and helped more than 450 families get on the path to recovery in our community. Whether fire, flood, or tornado, the local Red Cross responds to a disaster, on average, every 19 hours.
The fires in single-family homes we respond to every day are the most common disaster in our community. Because of rare tornadoes last November, record cold temperatures in January, and numerous multifamily apartment fires in our 18-county territory, we have already exceeded our $250,000 budget for direct aid to families this fiscal year by 18 percent — and we have May and June to go.
Last month, our volunteers responded to a fire at Secor Terrace Apartments in Toledo. We provided the 57 people who lived there with temporary shelter, food, clothing, toiletries, infant supplies, and other items they needed to get back on their feet.
Every disaster and every family is different. We interview people and families to determine how we can best meet their needs and quickly get them on their way to revitalization.
This process doesn’t end when the flames go out. We meet with our clients weeks after the disaster, to connect them with additional resources such as bedding and linens or a security deposit to get started in a new place.
We can do this only through your generosity. You can donate online at redcross.org, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or by mailing a check to your local Red Cross office.
When the next disaster strikes, your support can ensure we’ll be there to help our neighbors when they need help. More than supplies and assistance, we offer them hope.
Regional Communications Specialist
American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio
West Central Avenue