Disaster and Emergency Responses Increase During Holiday Season

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Disaster & Emergency Responses Increase During Holiday Season

In just 24 hours your American Red Cross provided more than $10,000 in direct financial assistance for 13 families who lost everything to home fires. This year your American Red Cross-Eastern NC Region has provided more than $450,000 in direct financial assistance for families affected by disasters and that number continues to grow each day.

Children from the Fairview Housing Complex fire play with Mickey dolls they received while Red Cross caseworkers met with the families to provide assistance.

Children from the Fairview Housing Complex fire play with Mickey dolls they received while Red Cross caseworkers met with the families to provide assistance.

“No one has to experience a disaster alone; your American Red Cross volunteers and staff are there to support our neighbors in need, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year,” said Bill Brent, Regional CEO.

Brent added; “In the past week alone, Red Cross has provided both help and hope for more than 20 families affected by disaster and an additional 26 families who have a loved one serving in our Armed Forces and required emergency services through local Red Cross SAF Volunteers. We can’t provide help or hope without your support.”

Five Fires Across Eastern NC Affect 13 Families, 53 People in 24 Hours

On Saturday, December 14, Red Cross workers arrived on scene of a multi-unit apartment fire in Goldsboro just before 5am. While firefighters worked to extinguish the flames, families were transported to the local chapter of the Red Cross where volunteers provided comfort and support to the 20 residents, including 7 children, who were evacuated from their homes.

Red Cross disaster workers were also called on later that day and into the evening to respond to five more single family and multi-unit fires in Winterville, Greenville, Kinston and Rocky Mount that displaced an additional 33 area residents, including 20 children.

“This situation on any given day is bad but right near the holidays it can be even more stressful,” said Tammy Forrester, CEO for the Wayne and Lenoir County Chapters of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross provided for the immediate needs of 53 residents affected which included shelter, food, seasonal clothing, shoes, child and baby supplies, and emotional support.

Additionally, individuals received comfort kits with personal care items, Red Cross blankets, and other needs as identified, and, every child was given a special stuffed Mickey to bring them a little comfort and cheer during this difficult time.

Supporting Search & Rescue Teams in Jones County

Red Cross volunteers from the Coastal Carolina and Onslow County Chapters supported search and rescue/recovery teams in Jones County for a missing persons search that began on December 10 and lasted nearly a week.

Red Cross staff and volunteers worked in partnership with emergency management and other local organizations to provide sleeping cots and blankets for emergency responders working long hours. They served nearly 500 meals, and more than 700 snacks and beverages for the search teams and the family of the missing person. Trained Red Cross Disaster Mental Health workers also met with family members and searchers alike to offer emotional support and counseling.

Services to the Armed Forces (SAF)

December 6 marked the final day of card collection for the 2013 Holiday Mail for Heroes Campaign; our most successful campaign ever.  With your support, the Eastern NC Region of the American Red Cross collected more than 12,000 holiday cards for U.S. military service members, veterans, and their families, across the country and around the world.  Local Red Cross volunteers will be distributing these cards with messages of gratitude and support to our military instillations throughout eastern NC during the holidays.

Each and every day, Red Cross military case workers provide emergency communications between service members abroad and their families here are home.  Since December 1st, SAF volunteers in eastern NC have made personal contact and/or follow-up calls to dozens of military families and provided them with access to additional community resources and referrals, as well as direct financial assistance.

Tornadoes hit Carteret County Two Days before Thanksgiving

On the evening of November 26, 2 days before Thanksgiving, severe storms and tornadoes swept across eastern NC damaging and destroying a number of  homes in Carteret County.

The Red Cross provided assistance for 16 families that were displaced after the tornado ripped through their homes. Caseworkers met individually with each family to determine their immediate emergency needs and provided shelter, clothing, food, minor medical care, supplies, and emotional support.

“I just can’t tell you how much the support of the Red Cross has meant to me and my neighbors,” said Melvin Hoard, a resident of Atlantic Beach who was displaced after a tornado ripped through his home.

Please Give Help & Hope Today!

Those in need turn to the Red Cross in their darkest hours because they know they can rely on that trusted symbol of disaster relief to see them through to recovery. Your donation helps us fulfill this promise.

You can help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods, fires and hurricanes as well as countless crises at home and around the world by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief.

You can donate by visiting www.redcross.org/holiday, calling
1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.  Contributions can also be sent to or made in person at your local American Red Cross chapter.