Red Cross campaign gives ‘fuzzies'

Published 8:28 am Monday, March 17, 2008

By Staff
Who would have dreamed that I would have had such a good time helping others.
I've done some kind deeds in the past and have felt those warm and fuzzies everyone talks about from time to time. But the kind of good feeling I have this week has put me in a very appreciative mood.
As I've worked with the Heroes Campaign to benefit the East Escambia Chapter of American Red Cross, I've seen dedication and cooperation among a great group of people.
Just a little more than two weeks have passed since the campaign kicked off to help raise money to benefit disaster victims in our area. I realize we haven't had a string of tornadoes nor a hurricane recently, but I do know there have been house fires that seem to pop up every week.
Those are the disasters that require ongoing funds to be available at the Red Cross offices.
Hurricanes can cause a great amount of damage to a large number of homes, but again, it's a rarity. Those types of disaster do require funds to help get victims into suitable housing until they can make permanent arrangements.
In cases of tornadoes and hurricanes, shelters are opened for a period of time and those shelters must have necessities for those people who have been forced to leave their home either because of eminent danger or damage. After a short period of time, victims find resolutions for their situations and return home as shelters close.
We haven't had folks in hurricane shelters in nearly four years (knock on wood) and other shelters have been very rare during that same period of time.
But because we leave within spitting distance of the coastline, we need to always be prepared. Everyone knows that takes money.
Just remember what you spent the last time you prepared your home for a hurricane. Food, bottled water, batteries and countless other supplies usually fill grocery carts when a hurricane is headed our way. Multiply what you spent by three to allow for the increase in prices. Then consider what it might cost to buy those same items for 500 people who need to be sheltered. Also consider how much it might cost to help provide blankets, pillows and other personal items for those who must spend time in the shelter. Yes, that's a lot of money.
If you're one of the people who say “big deal, we haven't had a hurricane in three years,” there are other things to consider about helping the Red Cross.
In just the few short months we've spent in 2008, there have been several house fires, a fire at an apartment complex and even a tornado thrown into the mix.
Your Red Cross has responded to all of those disasters with aid in a variety of forms. From assistance with temporary housing to securing melted and burned medications, volunteers have worked with family members to assure their safety and their needs are met. Supplying the needs of just one family can be damaging to anyone's budget. When the Red Cross is called upon to supply needs for family after family, week after week, the damage to the budget is ongoing.
Your dollars can go a long way to help keep the budget from being completely depleted. Wouldn't it make since to donate to Red Cross today to make sure there are funds available for assistance if your family should find themselves in the midst of a disaster tomorrow?
Helping Red Cross helps your neighbors and it helps you. If you haven't been in contact with one of the Heroes during the campaign, don't fret. You can still become a Hero in your own way. Give to the East Escambia Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Give a dollar today. It could mean a warm blanket for someone in need tonight.
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.