Many have asked us what exactly we have done to help those affected by the November 17th tornadoes. It is hard to put into words everything we have done because, to be honest, we have done a lot. So, I figured it was time to make a brief video showing you.
Even though this video highlights the initial response, it is important to remember that our work is not done. We will be there for the months to come assisting families and supporting them as they travel their long, and at times difficult, road to recovery.
Even though I have been up to my eyeballs in Red Cross relief over the last couple weeks, I still try to chat with my “for real” boss everyday. Whether it’s a call in a morning or a meeting after hours, I usually try to touch base with her about what she is hearing and how best to respond.
Tonight, we talked about how to communicate to the public what our next steps are in this response effort. As we chit chatted, I told her about how I was handling questions pertaining to the coming months and how funds will be used. My boss listened and then politely commented, “You use the word ‘recovery’ a lot. That’s means something to us, but not to everyone else”. Ugh. She was right, I was speaking Red-Cross-u-gease.
WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES
Ever wonder how your donated dollars to the American Red Cross are used? For starters, 91 cents of every dollar goes to fulfilling the Red Cross mission of providing direct services.
Here are some examples of how Red Cross donations are spent:
Two weeks ago, tornadoes cut a swath through sections of Central Illinois, leaving death and destruction behind. Thousands were displaced when their homes were damaged or destroyed; left to figure out what they would do next.
American Red Cross volunteers have been on the scene from the start providing food, shelter and comfort to those in need. As the Red Cross mission starts to shift to the long-term recovery phase volunteers continue to help clients and will do so until the job is done.
The Red Cross has opened Outreach Sites in East Peoria and Pekin and has Outreach Teams going through the affected areas to make contact with those who might need assistance. The sites and teams include a caseworker , health care and mental health volunteers.
PEORIA, Ill. (Nov. 28, 2013) — On this Thanksgiving Day, more than 150 American Red Cross workers remain on duty in Central Illinois, providing disaster relief services to those affected by the tornadoes that on Nov. 17 tore through this area.
When the Universalist Unitarian Church of Peoria learned that the Red Crossers would be missing their Thanksgiving Day dinner with friends and family, the church members immediately stepped forward.
“When the call went out to serve Thanksgiving Dinner to the Red Cross we had 10 members of our congregation come forward in the first hour to help,” said congregation member Maury Brucker. “Ultimately, we had many more people volunteer than the 25 or so we needed.”
Congressman Aaron Schock shares his story from Nov. 17th after a EF4 tornado ripped through Central Illinois.
This Thanksgiving is not a typical one for many of us at the Red Cross. Usually, we are at home with our families, but today we are in headquarters and out in the field providing food, water, coffee and supplies to those still working to clear debris. We are so focused on the task at hand that this is what we have for lunch today…
Sad, I know. But thankfully, someone was looking out for all of us Red Crossers this Thanksgiving. Below is a little video from the Universalist Unitarian Church in Peoria who is currently working on making a meal for deployed volunteers and staff to enjoy tonight. A million thanks to you for providing a delicious meal for us!
Washington, Illinois, November 26, 2013. The morning skies were calm early on November 17, no hint of the horror that lurked on the horizon. Susan Jefford and her son Joey were leaving home, looking forward to a day of fishing at a local lake. When the town’s warning sirens started, they were not particularly concerned. “The sirens go off all the time, but the tornadoes rarely reach the ground,” explained Susan’s husband, John Jefford. “But then the train noise started. It was like a train whistle, but very, very loud,” Susan continued.
The children of the tornado-ravaged town of Gifford, Illinois appreciate the work done by the American Red Cross in their small community. At least that’s the impression you get after viewing artwork designed by the young victims.
The paintings are darling and sure do make us feel good for all the work we are doing in the small central Illinois community.
After a disaster, while you may be okay, your friends and relatives may not know and continue to worry about you. The best way to let everyone know that you’re safe is to register with the American Red Cross Safe and Well program.
It’s quick and easy: Go to www.redcross.org/safeandwell. Fill in the information, click on the messages you want to include. There is even space for a short personal message. At the end click Register and you’re done.