Every day since Sandy slammed into the East Coast, I am reminded that Americans are strong, resilient and caring. I am honored to work in an organization that represents the absolute best of this great nation. Sandy has also brought out the very best in this city, as well. Industries and individuals have donated generously to help victims of this tragedy. Dozens of volunteers from this region are braving the harshest circumstances to help those hurting in the aftermath of Sandy. Our volunteers leave home for up to three weeks; some have even slept in a warehouse without heat and electricity. Others have driven all night to get to the disaster-stricken areas. Right now more than three dozen volunteers from around our region have stepped away from their daily lives to head out east to help those in need.
Also, the St. Louis Area Chapter, with the help of KMOV-TV and KSDK-TV, aired two telethons simultaneously to raise money for disaster relief. Red Cross volunteers and employees of our local corporate partners like Ameren, Enterprise and Monsanto manned the phones. Within hours, hundreds of you called in to generously donate more than $55,000.
Speaking of our corporate partners, we are so appreciative of their kindness as well. Enterprise Holdings Foundation led the way with their amazing generosity of $1 million! Many others quickly stepped forward as well to help make a difference: Anheuser-Busch, Edward Jones, Express Scripts, Maritz, Ameren, Build-A-Bear and Peabody Energy. Together they’ve donated more than $1.5 million for the relief efforts. All donations allow us to perform our mission, just as we’re doing along the East Coast right now: to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
In addition to financial donations, we are so grateful for the increase we’ve seen in people rolling up their sleeves at local blood drives. With hundreds of drives cancelled because of the storm, it’s so important that those in unaffected areas get out and donate to the Red Cross. To find a local blood drive, please visit www.redcrossblood.org.
Now, as the victims of Sandy brace for another storm, the Red Cross is expanding its relief efforts even more. While nothing can take away the loss that the millions of those affected are feeling right now, I am so proud of the thousands of Red Crossers working the front lines of the storm, and right in their own communities, to make sure those affected by disaster have, in the least, a safe place to stay, food to eat and a shoulder to lean on.
Warm Regards, Cindy