American Red Cross partners with NAACP - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

American Red Cross partners with NAACP

March 11, 2007

Albany - - Over the past week and a half, hundreds of volunteers have come together to support South Georgia communities affected by tornados. The American Red Cross has set up shop for relief efforts. The national organization says they're able to do their job better thanks to organizations they partner with.

We've all seen the devastation a natural disaster can cause. We've also seen the beauty of the human spirit coming together to aid victims. The American Red Cross is working with community groups to be able to do the same.

"We've trained the NAACP now in disaster overview, shelter operations, and mass care," says Smyther Fallen with the national Red Cross office.

He says the group is building its relationship with the NAACP.

"Wen you look at what happened during Katrina, you saw people of color who was in desperate situations, so people of colors' heart went out, people of all color hearts went out but the NAACP shared a concern in that a lot of those affected in that particular catastrophic event was African American."

Fallen says disasters often uncover poverty, and when something like a tornado hits, it can have a huge affect on underprivileged communities as well. 

"Were talking about people and our job is concern about people. All people, white people, black people, hispanic people, people," says Ezekiel Holley with the Georgia NAACP Conference.

He says the training his members received allows them to help mankind during a disaster and after.

"Were concerned about jobs, were concerned about their future, were concerned about their education, were just concerned about the whole man."

It's a partnership the Red cross wants to grow.

"What the NAACP represents is a grass roots organization who has national reach and what we've done is partnered with the NAACP to ensure that each community and every community gets access to the Red Cross services," Fallen says.

Because you can't turn down a few extra hands willing to aid in a state of emergency.

The American Red Cross also has partnerships with several church denominations. Fallen says the organization is reaching out to other grass roots organizations, including fraternities and sororities, to reach more diverse populations.  

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