Busy days ahead for the American Red Cross

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

At the American Red Cross, Pam Knapp-Carver is readying bags of essentials given to families displaced by a house fire.

"We receive many times calls from the fire department who let us know that a family is displaced.   They don't have anywhere to go, they've lost everything in a fire," said Carver.

Carver says that's when they step in--offering assistance in the way of food, clothing and shelter.  According to Carver, it's a need that grows especially this time of year.

"We see an increased number of single family fires," said Carver.

Carver says right now, when people are really pinching pennies, they sometimes heat their homes in inadequate, sometimes dangerous ways.

"Using space heaters and not tending to those like they should, using their ovens," said Carver.

While efforts to keep warm can cause fires, Carver says they saw a large number of house fires this summer as people were trying to keep cool.

"I attribute that to running fans and air conditioners in homes that weren't adequately wired," said Carver.

In addition to a lot of fires, the recent deployment of local soldiers means even busier days ahead.

"Whenever there's an emergency in the family, then they depend on the American Red Cross to get verified information to that service members location," said Carver.

Despite fires and military cases expected to go up, and donations down significantly, Carver says not being there for those in need is not an option.

For more information about donations, you can call 870-932-3212, or visit www.redcross.org.

There's also a new catalogue initiative where people can purchase items the Red Cross can use during disasters in honor of someone, or in someone's name.  For more information about that catalogue, visit www.redcross.org.

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