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Partners Pitch In to Provide Wildfire Relief
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Stuart Hales
 
November 8, 2007

The Southern Baptist Convention and Salvation Army helped feed the growing, shifting population of evacuees and emergency responders.

American Red Cross President Mark W. Everson meets with Salvation Army Captain David Leonard (above) and greets volunteers from the Southern Baptist Convention (below). Both groups worked closely with the Red Cross to provide assistance to wildfire victims.
American Red Cross President Mark W. Everson meets with Salvation Army Captain David Leonard (above) and greets volunteers from the Southern Baptist Convention (below). Both groups worked closely with the Red Cross to provide assistance to wildfire victims.
American Red Cross President Mark W. Everson greets volunteers from the Southern Baptist Convention
 
The recent Southern California wildfires forced more than half a million people from their homes, the largest evacuation in the history of the region. Meanwhile, firefighters and other emergency response and relief personnel converged on the area, moving from community to community as the fires, fanned by Santa Ana winds gusting to more than 100 miles per hour in some locations, spread quickly.

Providing shelter, food and water to so many evacuees and responders was a daunting task, but the American Red Cross had plenty of help. Working with the Southern Baptist Convention and the Salvation Army, the Red Cross was able to serve hundreds of thousands of meals and snacks to relief workers, fire victims, evacuees, and others in need.

The American Red Cross has agreements with both organizations to coordinate resources during disasters and broaden the reach of relief services. Red Cross chapters in Southern California work closely with the two groups on disasters of all types.

“During a disaster, we might get a request late at night to have 500 meals ready the next morning,” says Steve Schweitzer, public affairs officer at the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter. “Our response manager can pick up the phone and call his counterpart at the Salvation Army or the Southern Baptist Conference and say, ‘Can you help us out?’”

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the California wildfires, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.


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