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NEWS

Local Businesses Help Their Neighbors at American Red Cross Shelters During Fay Aftermath
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Molly Dalton
 
August 25, 2008

As Tropical Storm Fay lingers over Florida bringing flooding and power outages, many who reside in the storm’s path come to American Red Cross shelters for food and protection from the storm.

Across the Sunshine State, local businesses and restaurants have reached out to their friends and neighbors with donations of blankets, food and other necessities.

Prepping the Emergency Response Vehicle for deployment
Keith Blackmon rows Red Cross clean-up and comfort kits back to his flooded home in Ft. Pierce, Fla. The area was drenched due to flooding from Tropical Storm Fay.
Photo: Dave Knoer/American Red Cross.

One such example occurred in Melbourne after Fay made her second landfall. A group of seniors arrived at a Red Cross shelter after evacuating from Lamplighter Estates, a community of manufactured homes. The seniors were very wet, some didn’t even have shoes on, and all were very cold after wading through waist-deep water to reach rescue vehicles.

According to Jane Bowden, Space Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross, the shelter was not yet equipped with enough blankets. Some blankets were brought in from the chapter, but people kept coming in and more blankets were needed. The local Wal-Mart in Melbourne learned of what has happening and immediately authorized a $200 donation to equip the shelter with blankets. Melbourne restaurants also reached out to those in the shelter, sending food for mealtimes.

"These people were very cold and wet and we needed blankets and food," Bowden said, "Thanks to our local businesses for helping us sort it out."

This scene of neighbor helping neighbor has been repeated across Florida during the storm.

Red Cross volunteers and staff are still hard at work across the state, providing shelter, meals, snacks and clean-up kits to those who need them. If you would like to help, donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. To make your contribution, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish), or mail your donations 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.

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 Tropical Storm Fay, 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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