Editorial

Red Cross providing timely help

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Like any large charity, the America Red Cross has received its share of criticism over the years, some of it deserved, most of it not.

The sudden, unexpected snow and flooding of March created a massive need for relief, and fellow Nebraskans responded in admirable fashion, going above and beyond with food and supplies to help people and animals survive.

Because many of those efforts grew spontaneously, built from scratch from heart-felt concern, they naturally varied in effectiveness and sustainability.

Thatís where professional organizations like the American Red Cross can help.

By the numbers:

-- 123 local volunteers from Kansas/Nebraska/SW Iowa supported the flood response across Nebraska and SW Iowa.

-- To date, there have been 421 deployments of local volunteers to 34 different disasters across the country and around the world in FY19 (July-present).

-- 53,240 volunteer hours have been worked.

Of course, thatís only the flooding.

In April 2019, the Red Cross responded to 61 home fires in Kansas/Nebraska/SW Iowa, assisting: 106 families and 323 people

To date, the Red Cross has responded to 660 home fires in Kansas/Nebraska/SW Iowa, assisting 3,141 people in FY19 (July-present).

Most of us associate the Red Cross with blood drives, collecting and providing lifesaving blood to patients who vitally need it, but we also count on it for everything from responding to home fires to teaching first aid and CPR to community groups.

An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.

Overall, the American Red Cross Nebraska/SW Iowa/Kansas Region serves the more the 4 million people living in Nebraska, Kansas and three counties in Southwest Iowa that are part of the Omaha metropolitan area.

Did you get involved in the flood relief effort? Do you have time and would you like to stay involved in similar volunteering efforts?

Visit redcross.org or https://rdcrss.org/2WvP7rI for more information.

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