Locals add to Katrina relief effort

September 7, 2005

Want to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina and the flood disaster in New Orleans the Gulf Coast? These local groups are conducting fund-raisers:

* Providence Health System in Oregon, including Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, today announced an employee, staff and volunteer fund-raising drive with matching donations to help hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast.

“The stories and scenes from Louisiana, Mississippi and the entire disaster area are heartbreaking — such devastation and destruction is all but impossible to comprehend,” said Russ Danielson, chief executive, Providence Health System — Oregon. “We watch and grieve with the people in the Gulf Coast and we will work tirelessly together to comfort and assist them as part of our Providence mission to reach out to those in need.”

To help respond to the dire needs, Providence Health System in Oregon will receive donations from employees, physicians, staff and volunteers at each major facility in Oregon. Providence will then match all employee donations. The combined funds will be sent to Catholic Charities USA, which is working on the scene of the disaster.

The community may also donate to Catholic Charities USA, by bringing cash or checks to the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital cashier’s office or by going to Catholic Charities’ Web site, www.catholiccharitiesusa.org/news/katrina.cfm. Donations are also being accepted by American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.

* Sears Holding Corporation is donating $500,000 worth of goods and money for the Katrina Relief Effort, announced Daryn Fogle of Hood River Sears.

The national company will also match dollar for dollar, up to $500,000, in cash for the American Red Cross Katrina Disaster Relief Fund.

Sears of Hood River will accept cash, check, and credit card donations for as little as $1 toward this fund. Sears will be accepting donations from Sept. 3-30.

* Lyle Lions will hold a hurricane relief breakfast on Sept. 17, 7 to 10:30 a.m., at the club on Highway 14 in Lyle, Wash. On the menu, for $5 per person, are Darla’s homemade biscuits and gravy, ham and eggs, pancakes, coffee, and juice. Donations will go to Northwest Medical Teams and American Red Cross.

* American Red Cross, with support of the worldwide Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, is launching a Web site to help assist family members who are seeking news about loved ones living in the path of Hurricane Katrina. Visit the “Family Links Registry” via www.redcross.org to register yourself, a missing relative or view the existing list of registrants.

Evacuees wishing to inform loved ones of their location can register their name by clicking on “Family Links Registry” on www.redcross.org. Concerned loved ones can register the names of their loved ones and view the list of those already posted. Due to the extent of the damage and the number of people displaced, concerned friends and family members are encouraged to visit the site daily to consult the list, as it will be updated continuously. A toll-free hotline is being established for those who do not have Internet access.

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 www.redcross.org.

During the unprecedented hurricane season of last year, with four hurricanes in just six weeks, the American Red Cross received more than 300,000 phone calls — most coming from people looking for missing loved ones. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, loved ones across America and around the world are again turning to the Red Cross for help.

The American Red Cross is dedicated as an organization to re-establishing family links. In order to expedite this process, we have tapped into the capacity of the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), whose experience in connecting families separated by disaster or armed conflict is unsurpassed. As Americans give to the international community during times of crisis, the international community is now giving back.

The Family Links Web site is a voluntary, self-registration system. The American Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have no means of verifying the information posted. As it is a public site, information posted is not confidential.

The American Red Cross, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, governmental and nonprofit agencies, is part of a monumental response to this disaster.

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