First Posted: 1/20/2009
The local chapter of the American Red Cross spends a great deal of its time and resources helping area people through emergencies.
Now the Red Cross is in need of some help of its own.
In the past 20 days, the Surry County chapter of the American Red Cross has responded to five incidents of fire and provided aid for 23 people. The volunteers also responded to the family whose trailer was hit by a car.
In addition to providing services for those families suffering from disasters such as fire, the chapter has assisted with several military cases in the past couple of weeks. The volunteers are available for those families 24 hours a day.
When the Golden Living Center had to be evacuated over the weekend, the Red Cross fixed lunch for all of the transport units called into the county to assist. The number of people fed Sunday afternoon totaled more than 110.
The group also provided snacks, drinks and hot chocolate to the firefighters working the two fires over the weekend.
Were there to do whatever we can, said Cathy Loggins, executive director of the area Red Cross.
Many people do not realize exactly what the Red Cross is involved in. In addition to holding frequent blood drives, it also provides a number of classes. The organization teaches baby-sitting, CPR and first aid training as well as lifeguard training. Instructors also teach classes on automated external defibrillator training and blood-borne pathogens. There are also disaster classes for the volunteers responding to disasters.
Volunteers play a big part in the everyday functioning of the Red Cross as most of the people who respond are volunteers. These people are on disaster action teams which are on call 24 hours a day for a week at a time.
The volunteers are just great. They get up at all hours of the night and then have to go to work the next day. They stand out in the cold. Its amazing what they go through to help people. We just cant do it without them, said Loggins.
In addition to helping others with disasters, the area Red Cross has had its own recent disaster. When temperatures dropped last week, the pipes in the building froze because enough heat was not getting to them. Over the weekend, those frozen pipes burst, flooding the headquarters. Workers will be moving furniture out of the offices today before repairs can begin on the floors, walls and ceiling. They will also have to redo the pipes in the building to prevent something like that from happening again.
With all of these activities and projects comes the expenses associated with them. The American Red Cross is not a government-funded operation. It relies solely on donations to continue to operate.
Weve had a pretty expensive January. Donations are down, and were struggling, said Loggins. I hope the rest of the year is not like this.
While donations to the Red Cross cannot be earmarked for a specific project, they are welcome and appreciated. Money given to the organization will go to help a number of families at once, allowing more results for more people. The organization appreciates any help it gets from the community, whether that is in the form of donations or volunteers.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.