Red Cross asks for donations for hurricane reliefMinnesota and Wisconsin may be far removed from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large portions of the East Coast earlier this week. But the American Red Cross is calling on local residents to help in the storm’s aftermath.
Minnesota and Wisconsin may be far removed from the effects of Hurricane Sandy, which devastated large portions of the East Coast earlier this week. But the American Red Cross is calling on local residents to help in the storm’s aftermath.
“This will be a large, costly relief response and we need help now,” Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of disaster services for the Red Cross, said in a statement.
So far, the Red Cross has responded to 16 states. The organization is operating 258 shelters along the coast and provided shelter to nearly 11,000 people Monday night. In addition, the Red Cross has sent nearly 200 emergency vehicles — equipped with ready-to-eat meals and supplies such as blankets and cots — to the regions affected by the storm.
Now the Red Cross is asking for not only monetary donations to continue to providing food and shelter to the storm’s victims, but also blood donations.
The massive storm caused the closure of the mass transit systems in New York City, left millions without power all along the coast and is estimated to have caused billions of dollars in damages.
Because of the widespread destruction, the Red Cross was forced to cancel about 300 blood drives on the East Coast this week. That has already caused a shortfall of nearly 9,000 blood and platelet donations, the Red Cross announced Tuesday.
“When you donate blood or platelets …, you can help patients in your local community and patients across the country, including those in Hurricane Sandy’s path,” Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region, said.
All blood types are needed, especially O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative. As a result of the shortage, the Red Cross has set up multiple blood drives in southeastern Minnesota, including in Red Wing, Welch and Lake City.
Earlier this week, the Red Cross sent three local volunteers to help on the East Coast.
Andrea Swanson, Frontenac, was sent to Princeton, N.J., to help provide mental health support to storm victims. She will give mental health screenings and assessments and give emotional support and care. Carole Madland and Gayle Gorman, both of Winona, Minn., were sent to White Plains, N.Y., and will also be providing mental health care.
How you can help
The Red Cross has set up the following blood drives in the area to help deal with shortages caused by Hurricane Sandy.
• St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Red Wing, 2 to 7 p.m. Nov. 8
• Treasure Island Event Center, Welch, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9
• United Methodist Church, Lake City, 1 to 7 p.m. Nov. 15
To donate money to the Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or mail donations to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. A $10 donation can be made by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.