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NEWS

Hurricanes Change Lives and You Can Too
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Judy Sperling-Newton, Amanda Christopher
 
October 1, 2008

The Jessing Family endured a night of terror when Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston.  Leon and Josephine Jessing, their two children, Janine and David Allen, and their 10-month-old grandson, Joseph Allen, escaped the storm and sought shelter at a local high school in Galveston.

Photo credit: Judy Sperling-Newton
Photo credit: Judy Sperling-Newton

Josephine expressed the family’s gratitude to the Red Cross for taking care of them, especially Joseph, who arrived in San Antonio without formula, baby food, or diapers, all of which were provided by the Red Cross.  One evening, a Red Cross volunteer came to the family’s sleeping area with a new, portable crib for the baby.  Janine said, “I waited until it got dark, and then I went to a private place and just cried.  I don’t like to cry in public.  I couldn’t believe the kindness of the Red Cross.  Now Joseph has a clean, safe place to sleep.”

A mere month has passed since Hurricane Gustav and almost three weeks since Hurricane Ike made landfall in the United States. For Louisiana and Texas residents, the cleanup has started, but time hasn’t lessened the need for food, shelter and emotional support. Shelters remain open in Louisiana and Texas in what will be a lengthy relief operation on the Gulf Coast.

To date:

  • More than 12 million meals and snacks have been served to those in need.
  • There have been more than 384,000 overnight stays in 916 shelters across 17 states.
  • Nearly 20,000 Red Cross workers have been on the ground to prepare for landfall and help in the aftermath.
  • The Red Cross has distributed more than 100,000 comfort kits, which contain soap, toothpaste and other toiletries.
  • The Red Cross has given out more than 100,000 clean-up kits, which include essentials such as disinfectant, mops and buckets.
  • More than 80,000 people affected by Gustav and Ike have also turned to the Red Cross for mental and physical health services.

Faced with record tornadoes, flooding in the Midwest, an early wildfire season and, most recently, Dolly, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike—the Red Cross has launched the Campaign for Disaster Relief. This $100 million campaign will ensure the Red Cross can continue helping victims of the recent hurricanes as well as rejuvenate a depleted disaster relief fund, allowing the Red Cross to provide necessary relief to future disasters.

Please support the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by donating to the Campaign for Disaster Relief.  Your gifts will allow the Red Cross to provide a safe place to sleep, breakfasts and clean-up kits for families like the Jessing’s, whenever and wherever disasters occur.

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 Hurricanes of 2008, 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 (1-800-733-2767) 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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