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February 08, 2006:
Southern Maryland Feb. 7, 2006 – The American Red Cross announced that current financial donations and pledges will cover the $2.116 billion estimated cost for its response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma. This announcement comes just over five months after Hurricane Katrina—the largest and most costly disaster relief operation in the nation’s history. Of the total gifts given, 1.7 million dollars were raised in Southern Maryland through church drives, school children, corporate donors and individual gifts from the community. As of December 31, the Red Cross has spent 84 percent of all donated funds.
As a good steward of donated dollars, the Red Cross has a standard practice of informing the public when sufficient funds have been raised to cover the costs associated with a disaster response. In keeping with that commitment, the Red Cross will no longer initiate fundraising activities for these hurricanes. The Red Cross asks donors to support the ongoing needs of hurricane survivors by giving to the countless other charities and non-profit organizations that continue to raise funds for hurricane recovery efforts.
“We can’t thank the Southern Maryland community enough,” said Mike Zabko CEO of the Southern Maryland Chapter. “It says a lot about the generosity of the community where we live. I am proud to tell people I am from Southern Maryland!”
The generous financial support from around the world allowed more than 225,000 Red Cross disaster relief workers —95 percent of them volunteers and over 50 from Southern Maryland --- to ensure that survivors had a safe place to stay, food and comfort and the means to provide essential items for themselves and their families. Survivors received counseling, basic healthcare and family connecting services. This was accomplished on an unsurpassed scale. The American Red Cross--
- Provided more than 3.4 million overnight stays in nearly 1,200 Red Cross shelters.
- Served more than 34 million meals and 30 million snacks.
- Delivered emergency financial assistance to more than 1.4 million families—more than 4 million people.
For almost 125 years, Americans have trusted and relied on the Red Cross to use their donations to help those in need. The Red Cross is committed to maintaining that hard-earned trust and will continue to keep the public informed of how donations are being used to provide ongoing relief. The most recent information can be found on www.redcross.org as well as in detailed stewardship reports.
The public’s continued support is essential to the Southern Maryland Chapter, which provides lifesaving support in Charles, St Mary’s, and Calvert counties every day. Support of the Disaster Relief Fund is also vital because it enables the Red Cross to respond quickly to large disasters whenever and wherever they strike. Last year, Red Cross chapters responded to a record 73,000 events. Nearly 92 percent were residential fires that went unnoticed nationally, but were hugely significant in the lives of those affected.
Please continue to help your neighbors in need through the American Red Cross by--
- Supporting the Southern Maryland Chapter and the Local Disaster Relief Fund.
- Donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
- Volunteering to support the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross through the Southern Maryland Chapter
For more information visit www.redcross.org or contact your local Red Cross chapter, SouthernMaryland.RedCross.Org
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors — across the street, across the country and across the world — in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new — the nearly 1 million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Through more than 800 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Some 4 million people give blood — the gift of life — through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of 181 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world's most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.