Effingham Daily News
With storm damage from tropical storm Sandy still leaving the East Coast in a precarious position, the Red Cross is sending trained people, as well as collecting blood, to help bring the affected states back to normal.
Jennifer Keller, a communications manager with the Red Cross, said the best thing people can do to help those affected is to donate blood and money.
“For a lot of people, your first instinct is to box up clothes or canned goods,” she said. “A lot of people complain that the Red Cross just wants money, but we already have all of that stuff ready to go. That’s in place. We just need you to give us the dollars to make it all happen.”
Keller said due to the storm, the Red Cross will be receiving more than 9,000 units of blood less than they expected due to canceled blood drives across 13 states.
“We want to keep the hospitals’ supplies up and make sure the people that need to have it can have it,” she said. “Like I’ve said, it’s the easiest hour of volunteer time you can ever do. You just have to squeeze a ball for a couple of minutes. I think we can all find ways to help.”
Keller also said those who want to make a donation can go to redcross.org or text Red Cross to 90999 to make a $10 donation that will appear on their phone bill. She said organizations can also find easy ways to donate to relief efforts as a group.
“If everyone where you work brought a dollar or was encouraged to give blood, that could make a huge difference,” Keller said.
So far, Keller said the Red Cross has seen a major increase in donations since news of the damage on the East Coast went nationwide.
“It makes me proud to be an American,” she said. “We can be so compassionate in times of need. It really makes me proud to work with the Red Cross.”
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or firstname.lastname@example.org.