Red Cross volunteers have put their holiday plans and life at home on hold to help those in need.
More than a dozen local Red Cross Volunteers from Kosciusko, Elkhart and St. Joe counties have deployed to the east coast for the Thanksgiving holiday, including Kosciusko County’s own Bob Harkness, who leaves today for his eighth Red Cross deployment to serve as an Emergency Response Vehicle driver.
Harkness will be part of a large team of volunteers who will distribute meals daily this week both before the holiday and on Thanksgiving Day. The Red Cross feeding operation in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention continues, with kitchens and fixed feeding site spread across New York and New Jersey.
So far, 6.2 million meals and snacks have been served. Red Cross volunteers are also driving through neighborhoods to hand out water and food in over 300 feeding trucks as well as to hand out relief items (2.9 million) in other vehicles. The Red Cross has also provided more than 70,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people whoíve been living in very tough conditions.
American Red Cross Chapters regularly train community members who are
interested in responding to local or national disasters. Go to redcross.org and click on Ways To Help. The Ways To Volunteer tab will provide a page to enter your location and will display information about how to contact your local chapter for more information on training and other ways of volunteering with the American Red Cross.
Volunteers constitute 96 percent of the total workforce to carry out Red Cross humanitarian work. The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation’s blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families.
The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission.