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Generous Donors Allow Red Cross to Respond
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Red Cross
May 29, 2008

The American Red Cross today announced that it has met the expected costs of the Iowa tornado but donations to its Disaster Relief Fund are still needed to ensure it can respond to the next disaster, whenever and wherever it strikes.

After the tornado struck, the American Red Cross immediately deployed feeding vehicles, supplies and volunteers into the storm-stricken area. Hundreds of homes and businesses sustained major damage, and the American Red Cross responded by opening a shelter, and by distributing food and clean-up supplies. Additional assistance, including mental health workers, moved into place to ensure that local residents have all of the help they need. The Red Cross will continue to work with community partners to identify resources that can aid in the long-term recovery of survivors.

This level of response would not have been possible without ongoing donations to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, the Red Cross has made investments to improve and augment its response capabilities, such as pre-positioning relief supplies in strategic locations across the country. While the Red Cross believes that due to the extraordinary generosity of the American public, current financial donations and pledges will be sufficient to cover the estimated costs of the Iowa tornado, donations are still urgently needed for the Disaster Relief Fund.

Many donations to the relief efforts remain in “pledge” form and, while not yet received by the Red Cross, have been incorporated into the estimate of funds raised for the Iowa tornado response.  It is important that supporters fulfill their pledged gifts. The cost of the Red Cross's relief operations is estimated not to exceed $255,000.

The Red Cross is committed to keeping donors and the public informed of how donations are being used to provide ongoing relief and has a standard practice of informing the public when sufficient funds have been raised to cover the costs associated with a Red Cross disaster response. The Red Cross will no longer initiate fundraising activities specifically for the Iowa tornado, but will continue to urge the public to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund so the Red Cross can be there whenever and wherever people need us.

In addition to making a financial contribution to the Disaster Relief Fund, people can also help their neighbors through the American Red Cross by scheduling an appointment to donate blood by calling 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or volunteering to support the Red Cross mission by contacting their local chapter. For more information visit www.redcross.org.

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 Midwest ice storms, 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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