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Red Cross needs aid

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May 13, 2008

Thomasville--  If disaster strikes, are you ready? The organization many people depend on to help them out during a disaster may not be ready themselves.  "We are hurting. We're hurting financially, we're hurting with volunteers," says Kristin Riggs, Executive Director of the Red Cross Wiregrass Chapter '

It covers 4 counties: Thomas, Grady, Decatur, and Seminole.  Riggs thinks because there have been no major disasters in this area for 2 years, "People have forgotten about the Red Cross. And so because of it, donations are down but we're still doing what we do. Which is helping our community."

But she says large scale disasters aren't the only kind.  "We had a rough winter as far as fire goes. We spent $12,000 in January alone helping disaster victims and I think we did about the same in February."   Add providing aid for the tornado that went through Grady county, and well over half a years budget for disaster relief is spent in 2 months.  "We are committed to not closing our doors. But we need the community to understand that we are desperate at this point. We need them to come to our aid," said Riggs.

 At least one person has stepped up.  Tuesday Danilo Pistelli, owner of Mom & Dads restaurant and A & D carwash next door, donated the proceeds of a fundraiser he's held at his carwash for the last 2 months.  "The money stays here at home. It doesn't go to administrative costs. And that's the reason I did it," said Pistelli.  He urges others to come up with similar ideas to raise money. He says it may have even helped his business.  He said, "People would come in Mom and Dads and ask me what I was doing. I'd see them leaving and actually going through the carwash to support the chapter."

"If we can get more people to do that, more local businesses, to come to our aid, to partner with us and say 'hey we're doing this for the Red Cross, you do it too,' we would be in much better shape right now," said Riggs.  All they can do now is hope. And ask for you to help them. . .so they can help you when you need it most.

Donations aren't just down in Thomasville, they're down across the board for the Red Cross.  If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross Georgia Wiregrass Chapter, send it to:   115 East Washington Street, Thomasville, GA 31792.  Or to find you're local chapter, visit their website.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=disasterreliefneeds/sb

 

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