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Local Red Cross closes hurricane service center,

By Staff
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Staff reports
The American Red Cross East Escambia Chapter closed its Service Center Monday, Sept. 19, 2005 and is urging anyone who has not yet received Red Cross emergency financial assistance to call 1-800-975-7585. The Red Cross continues to believe that the best and most effective way to receive emergency financial assistance is to call this 24-hour a day lifeline that quickly delivers emergency funds through a variety of innovative methods.
The toll-free call center will provide financial resources and referrals to hurricane survivors across the nation. To apply for aid, families calling must be ready to provide their name, pre-storm address, ZIP code and home telephone number. Callers must be prepared to write down a client ID number which they will take to their financial institution in their community to receive assistance.
Locally, the East Escambia Chapter has provided vital services and financial assistance to those in need since Hurricane Katrina smashed ashore. Red Cross services included shelter, food, relief supplies, and direct financial assistance. The local chapter has had more than 50 volunteers from all over the country assisting with local efforts.
The East Escambia County Chapter saw as many as 145 families a day and estimates that it distributed more than $500,000 in national financial assistance. The Red Cross opened a shelter at the Community of Christ Church on Smith Lane. The shelter provided hot meals and water in an air conditioned facility, which offered a cool waiting area and children's play area in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. The shelter closed mid-week and clients staying in the area are finding more long-term housing.
In addition, diapers and toys were provided for the youngest survivors. In partnership with the Good Will/Easter Seals, evacuees in need of clothing have received certificates to purchase needed items. The chapter would like to thank the local community for their outstanding support.
The East Escambia Chapter will continue to assist the displaced evacuees that have relocated within the chapter's jurisdiction.