Red Cross overwhelmed by our community's generosity in Haiti aid
Editor’s note: The following letter was submitted on behalf of the Board of Directors and the Community Advisory Committee of the American Red Cross Washtenaw County Chapter.
In the last two weeks since the earthquake struck Haiti, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community: your visits to the chapter, donations through checks, cash, from waitress’ aprons and kids’ piggy banks. And more of you have been going on line, phoning in or texting to give. Thank you all -- and to annarbor.com for all the stories of the generosity and ingenuity of our community, individuals, schools, companies, health institutions which inspire continued response.
Each year in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new -- the more than 700,000 volunteers and 34,000 employees of the Red Cross -- to help them get back on their feet. More than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and the world. This includes our own Washtenaw disaster response volunteers who have the same superb training -- allowing all of us to link up and create a mighty pull of strength to help a neighbor recover, wherever they live, next door or across the ocean.
And while we are extending our generosity to those in this huge tragedy, our chapter is still responding 24/7 to the more silent disasters in our own neighborhoods here in Washtenaw County. It is the personal tragedy of a home fire, where a family loses everything they own, or the child at Motts’ who needs blood products for chemotherapy treatments, or a soldier’s family who just experienced a death and needs to get their loved one home for emergency leave. We rely on local support to fund these life-saving programs.
We are so grateful to all of our community for their support and involvement—the financial donations, volunteering, attendance at health and safety classes, and giving of blood. We are working hard to continue to earn your support---because even more of it is needed, here at home, and for international disasters such as the Haiti earthquake.
People who want to help those affected by the Haitian earthquake can make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at Redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Briefings regarding the progress of the Red Cross relief effort are available at www.wc-redcross.org/Haiti.php
To donate to support our local disaster response programs in Washtenaw County, visit www.wc-redcross.org and click on the DONATE button. Or call the chapter at 734-971-5300.
James W. Cook Chairman, Board of Directors