Gifts will help ensure Red Cross has resources to respond to community disasters
Submitted by the American Red Cross
Following a storm of historic proportion that rocked the Western New York region – resulting in the tragic loss of dozens of lives, widespread power outages, and bringing even emergency travel to a halt – several area businesses have generously stepped forward with significant gifts to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund, which helps the Red Cross respond immediately to community disasters such as Winter Storm Elliott.
Those organizations supporting disaster response and preparedness through their support of the Red Cross include:
√ M&T Bank ($100,000)
√ Constellation Brands ($60,000)
√ National Grid ($50,000)
“As an organization dedicated to our mission of alleviating suffering in times of disaster, we have to be prepared to respond well in advance of any community emergency,” said Nick Bond, regional CEO for the Red Cross of Western New York. “Even before Winter Storm Elliott hit, we had positioned trailers with essential relief supplies at strategic locations throughout the greater Buffalo area. This enabled us to quickly share equipment such as cots, blankets and comfort kits to our governmental partners who were opening warming shelters for those in need.
“Thankfully, because of the commitment to the community of our generous corporate partners like M&T Bank, Constellation Brands and National Grid, we can be equipped to respond immediately and open shelters to house and feed those displaced by storms such as the major blizzard we just experienced, as well as distribute emergency supplies to others in need or provide supplies to municipalities opening warming centers. We simply could not carry out our mission-driven work if we did not have the support of generous community partners who make it possible for us to be prepared to lend immediate assistance to our community.”
In addition to sheltering efforts and the distribution of winter storm supplies during the blizzard, the Red Cross also continued its ongoing support to individuals and families impacted by home fires and other personal disasters. From Dec. 23-30 alone, the Red Cross responded to 71 disaster events in the Western New York Region, providing immediate comfort and assistance to our neighbors in need.
Due to the severity of Winter Storm Elliott, the Red Cross is still helping the community in recovery. The storm that brought below-freezing temperatures, destructive winds, and over 4 feet of snow to the area – leaving many people trapped in their vehicles and homes, as well as widespread power outages and dangerous travel conditions – sadly resulted in approximately 40 area residents losing their lives.
The Red Cross is working to help families who have lost a loved one due to the direct impact of the storm by:
√ Providing immediate financial assistance and caseworkers who can help navigate other available resources within the community who can provide additional support.
√ Providing mental health services and spiritual care to individuals and families who have experienced loss. Red Cross integrated care condolence teams include compassionate, highly trained professionals who respond to mass-casualty disasters and are trained in delivering resources our clients often need in the aftermath of disasters, including as enhanced psychological first aid, crisis intervention and condolence support.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or on Twitter at @RedCross.