Regional Red Cross reached out to 137 incidents this fall

Agency suggests ways the public can provide help

HOOD RIVER Elks hosted the annual Thanksgiving Red Cross blood drive, and Dave Radley of Hood River was among the dozens of donors to turn out.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
HOOD RIVER Elks hosted the annual Thanksgiving Red Cross blood drive, and Dave Radley of Hood River was among the dozens of donors to turn out.

This fall, volunteers and staff with local American Red Cross in the Cascades Region have worked diligently to help people affected by disasters in this region and beyond. Since Sept.1, 2016, the Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington has helped more than 472 people affected by 137 local disasters. Disaster responses Sept. 1 – Nov. 30, 2016, included large incidents like the explosion in NW Portland and the tornadoes on the Oregon Coast as well as home fires that affect a single family.

In addition to local disaster response, 159 Red Cross volunteers from Oregon and Southwest Washington deployed to other major disasters throughout the nation to assist people affected by flooding in Louisiana, wildfires in California, flooding in Iowa and a hurricane on the East Coast.

“We have seen an unprecedented number of disasters this year,” said Amy Shlossman, chief executive officer for the American Red Cross Cascades Region. “From hurricanes and flooding on the East Coast to home fires and tornadoes here at home, the Red Cross has been there to help people when they need it the most. Our volunteers are among the first responders, providing shelter, meals, comfort and hope to people affected by disasters big and small.”

The Red Cross responds to home fires, floods, wildfires, storms and other disasters by helping those affected address their immediate basic needs and begin their recovery. Red Cross staff and volunteers provide disaster assistance such as help with temporary housing; food; clothing; comfort kits with personal hygiene products; information about recovery services; and health and mental health services.

The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of local donors to fulfill its mission. The Red Cross has launched its holiday giving campaign, which urges people to give something that means something through a donation to the Red Cross.

• A donation of $250 provides a night of emergency shelter and meals for a family of five.

• A donation of $335 helps deploy an emergency response vehicle to provide assistance to a community in need.

• A donation of $500 provides comfort kits for 200 armed service members.

• A donation of $1,650 enables the Red Cross to deploy a volunteer to a relief operation for 11 days — the average length of a disaster deployment.

This holiday season, people can help those who need it most through the Red Cross in four ways:

• Make a financial donation to the Red Cross

• Schedule an appointment to give blood

• Send cards to members of the Armed Forces through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program

• Give the gift of time by becoming a Red Cross volunteer

Disaster services: Disasters affected thousands of people this year. Every nine minutes the Red Cross responds to a disaster across the country. Financial donations can help the 70,000 people who turn to the Red Cross every year for assistance big and small.

Blood services: As many as 44,000 blood donations are needed every day across the country to meet the needs of hospital patients. A single donation to the Red Cross can save up to three lives.

Service to armed forces: Many members of the military will be separated during the holidays. Lift their spirits by sending a thank you card through the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Visit www /MailforHeroes to participate.

Become a volunteer: Visit the “Ways to Volunteer” information on the Red Cross web site to learn how (www.

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