ARC hosting fundraiser for disaster relief
by ELANE JONES
Apr 23, 2013 | 3149 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The volunteers and staff of the Walker-Marion Chapter of the American Red Cross will be busy selling dinners today to help raise money for disaster relief. The event will be held at the Memorial Park Natatorium at 610 10th Avenue in Jasper, and plates include catfish, shrimp and chicken that will be provided by Swamp John’s Restaurants and Catering. They will be available for eat-in or pickup for $11. The plates will include slaw, french fries, onion, pickle and tea.

“The money we raise from this event will not only help local house fire victims, but also help us replenish our reserve depleted by the March 18 storms,” the director of the ARC Walker-Marion Chapter, Pam Fikes, said. “Following the storms, we helped 59 families with emergency financial assistance, provided 400 meals, 2,300 snacks and water, comfort kits, cleanup kits, and bulk supplies to about 50 families.”

Fikes said during the assessments conducted following the storms on March 18, local Red Cross volunteers found 132 homes in Walker County that were affected by the storms — 17 were destroyed, 42 suffered major damage and 73 had minor damage.

“It was a big localized response for us, so this fundraiser will help us rebuild our reserve so we will be ready to respond to the next event,” Fikes said. “The American Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and we depend on the generosity of others to perform our missions, and an

Fikes said, on average, 91 cents of every dollar donated goes to fulfill Red Cross humanitarian missions.

“The American Red Cross helps people in need every single day, not just during large scale disasters,” Fikes said. “No two days, weeks or years are the same, because so much of what we do depends on the needs of the people we serve.”

Here are just a few examples of what the generosity of donors allowed the American Red Cross to achieve during its 2012 fiscal year.

•More than 60,000 disasters were responded to.

•More than 4 million people learned first aid, water safety, and other lifesaving skills.

•More than 50,000 relief items were provided via international disaster response operation.

•More than 400,000 services were provided to military members, veterans and civilians.

•More than 53,000 people were educated in International Humanitarian Law.

•More than 7 million people received disaster assistance internationally.

•Nearly 1,000 families separated by war and disaster around the world were reconnected.

•An estimated 146 million children were vaccinated through Measles Initiative campaigns.

•More than 1 million people were briefed by local chapter through the "Get to Know us" program.

•Nearly 2.5 million people attended disaster education presentations.

•More than 335,000 people were reached through HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support activities.

•Nearly 9 million blood products were distributed to patients across the country.

“The American Red Cross is part of the world's largest volunteer network. The ARC can be found in 187 countries and 10 million people learn emergency skills through the Red Cross every year,” Fikes said. “We depend on our volunteers and the generosity of the people in our communities to perform our mission, and through that ongoing support we are able to continue to be here to provide people in crisis with the relief for today and hope for tomorrow.”

The Walker-Marion Chapter provides programs and services to the citizens of Walker and Marion counties. Office hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. For more information or assistance, please call your local Red Cross office at 205-221-1478.