Arizona volunteers with the American Red Cross are helping families in hurricaneravaged communities in Florida, with another group expected to leave next week to relieve them, an agency representative said Monday.
Tamera Skrovan, chief marketing officer of the Grand Canyon Chapter, said volunteers went to Florida under a three-week commitment, which expires next week. A second wave of volunteers may be deployed after that.
Marsha Johnson Evans, the president and CEO of the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., appealed again Monday to the public to continue supporting the agency to help cover the $50 million in costs for the Florida disaster, as well as future relief efforts.
Evans called the hurricane crisis a "national disaster," adding that the agency needs to ensure funding for that relief effort and others such as possible wildfires in Western states.
Red Cross volunteers from across the nation have helped more than 100,000 hurricane survivors find shelter, and provided them with food, meals, and hygiene and cleaning supplies.
There are about 1,000 people still living in shelters in various Florida counties, and volunteers are also making treks to the ravished communities to provide food and water to people that chose to stay in their homes, Evans said.
Before Hurricane Charley, the Red Cross had less than $1 million in its disaster relief fund.
Since then, the Red Cross has raised $15 million through donations, but the agency’s goal is to raise $50 million to keep the fund "robust," Evans said.
Donations to the Disaster Relief Fund can be made by calling (800) 435-7669; or (800) 257-7575 for Spanish speakers.
Online donations can be made at www.redcross.org or by writing to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.