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There's no need for me to describe the horrendous events that have unfolded in the U.S. gulf area. First Katrina and then Rita. The papers, TV and other media are providing non-stop coverage of the flooding, death and destruction, as they should. My heart goes out to those suffering such great loss of loved ones, homes, jobs and the necessities of life and I am urging my readers to donate to help these poor victims of the worst storms in U.S. history. My charity of choice is the American Red Cross.
To help the victims of these catastrophic storms the Red Cross has organized the largest mobilization of it's kind in history, and has mobilized thousands of staff and volunteer relief workers. As of October 11, 2005 this is what the red cross has been able to accomplish:
This disaster relief operation is constantly changing. All numbers are approximate. Please note the date of last update when using facts or numbers in news stories.
- Since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, the Red Cross has provided more than 3.3 million overnight stays in nearly 1,100 shelters across 27 states and the District of Columbia. To date, the Red Cross and the Hurricane Katrina and Rita special accommodations program, which will be funded by FEMA and is being administered by the Red Cross on behalf of the federal government, has provided more than 5.8 million overnight hotel stays for hurricane survivors in nearly 9,700 hotels/motels in 5o0 states and the District of Columbia.
- Nearly 187,000 Red Cross workers from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have responded to Katrina. During this effort, the Red Cross has trained tens of thousands of people in specialized disaster relief skills.
- The Red Cross, in coordination with the Southern Baptist Convention, has served more than 24.4 million hot meals and more than 15.3 million snacks to hurricane survivors to date.
- The American Red Cross is expanding the variety of its efforts to provide financial assistance to more than 1.1 million families (more than 3.4 million hurricane survivors) to date. Assistance is provided in a variety of ways, including client assistance cards, vouchers, checks and cash.
When disaster strikes anywhere around the world, the Red Cross is always among the first and biggest aid organizations to set up relief efforts. The Red Cross always finds a way to bring support staff, food aid, shelter, and medical care to areas of great need even in the most dangerous and difficult conditions imaginable.
American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by your voluntary donations of time and money.
The Red Cross has received approximately $1.15 billion in gifts and pledges to date for the hurricane relief.
The Red Cross has a four-star rating from Charity Navigator for its effective use of donations. At least 91 cents of every dollar donated to the American Red Cross goes directly to assist disaster victims.
The American Red Cross estimates that relief efforts will exceed $2 billion, meeting the needs of nearly one million families in three key areas:
Food and Shelter — $110 million
Transient Hotel Accommodations/Lodging Expenses - $134 million
Emergency Financial Assistance to Disaster Survivors — $1.06 billion
As of October 11, 2005, approximately $1.51 billion has been spent or committed for hurricane relief efforts.
Please help by donating your time or money for Katrina victims.
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Additional Information & Resources can be found under Hurricane Season 2005. To learn more about the coordination of efforts among the many organizations and agencies helping hurricane survivors and for additional resources, visit USA Freedom Corps