SPRINGFIELD -- The American Red Cross continues the massive relief effort to help people devastated by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The Red Cross is part of a large team of agencies and organizations responding to provide help to communities turned upside down by these devastating storms.
Over the past four weeks, the Red Cross along with community and government partners have provided over 1 million overnight stays in emergency shelters for those affected by the hurricanes. The Red Cross has served more than 4.1 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 1.4 million relief items to people in need. Red Cross volunteers have provided more than 121,000 mental health and health services to support and care for those affected.
Locally, the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region has deployed 200 volunteers and staff to assist with the hurricane relief efforts. Those currently deployed are on the ground or in route to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The region will continue to send volunteers and staff in the coming weeks and months.
Among those deployed is Lyn Hruska, CEO for the Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. Hruska deployed last week and is in Houston working with community partners to help secure services for residents as they transition out of emergency shelters.
A number of volunteers have requested to be deployed to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Those deploying to the islands will encounter extremely difficult conditions as most areas remain without power and communications and access is limited as many roadways remain blocked.
“We are extremely proud of the tremendous work being done by Red Cross volunteers and staff," said Trish Burnett, spokesperson for the American Red Cross. “It truly is a special gift to take two or three weeks away from your family to provide comfort and care to those in need, and Red Cross volunteers are always eager to go and help.”
The Red Cross will remain on the ground helping people impacted by the hurricanes in the challenging weeks and months to come as people get back on their feet. Help people affected by disasters big and small by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.