Helping victims of Sandy: Red Cross says give blood, cash; volunteers mobilized
Four volunteers from Washtenaw County have already been sent to the areas affected by Superstorm Sandy and 11 more are waiting for word from the American Red Cross on if they will be deployed.
Donna Duvin, chief executive officer of the Washtenaw and Lenawee County Chapter of the American Red Cross, said four trained volunteers had been sent to the East Coast before Sandy hit. Within the next 24 to 48 hours, 11 more volunteers may be sent east to help with recovery efforts, she said.
Sandy has caused catastrophic damage along the eastern seaboard and the federal government has declared parts of New York and New Jersey natural disaster areas. Much of Lower Manhattan in New York City flooded and there is shocking damage along the Jersey Shore, including the destruction of the Atlantic City boardwalk and severe damage to the famed amusement park in Seaside Heights.
Duvin said people here in Washtenaw County can help those affected by the storm by donating blood or making cash donations to the Red Cross. Blood is especially needed — approximately 300 blood drives in the mid-Atlantic region were canceled due to Sandy.
“People who can give blood are encouraged to make an appointment,” she said.
There is a blood drive scheduled from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Michigan Stadium, according to Mary Masson, senior public relations representative from the University of Michigan Hospital. Those interested in attending can pre-register on this website.
In addition to helping victims of Sandy, this blood drive will be an opportunity for Michigan fans to get one over on Ohio State — the event is part of the annual challenges against the Buckeyes for blood donations and organ donor registrations, according to Masson.
Strong winds came through Washtenaw County Monday night and continued Tuesday, but many fire departments in the area reported a surprising lack of damage. Power outages were reported Tuesday morning and there were trees uprooted, but Duvin said the Red Cross was not notified of anyone being displaced by the storm in the area.
In the areas where power went out, including area west of Ann Arbor, Duvin encouraged residents to check on their neighbors to make sure they’re OK.
Anyone interested in donating to the Red Cross can call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) to donate using a credit card or make an appointment to give blood. Those who want to help can also text “redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can make a donation via check to the American Red Cross national headquarters in Washington D.C. or the local chapter by sending it to the local chapter at 4624 Packard Road, Ann Arbor, MI, 48104.