“The Community Foundation helps people most often in our immediate community, but in emergency situations, those boundaries become less important,” foundation Executive Director David Bennett said in a news release. “There are some circumstances that just warrant our help, and this is one of them. We hope that, if we were in a similar situation, other community foundations would help us.”
The American Red Cross continues to focus on reaching as many people as possible who need help, the news release said. Its top priority is getting supplies, meals and drinking water to areas hit hard by the storm.
“This is the largest relief response executed by the American Red Cross in more than five years, and we're extremely proud to pull together with other Red Cross chapters and communities to provide such a response,” said Katherine Mac Aulay, chief operations officer and disaster services director of the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana. “We have deployed 33 local volunteers toward the effort over the past two weeks, and there is still a great deal of work to be done.”
As of Wednesday, the American Red Cross still was operating 13 shelters serving more than 13,000 people and had more than 300 Emergency Response Vehicles (“ERVs”) working to provide people assistance and to assess damage, the news release said.
Since Superstorm Sandy hit Oct. 29, the Red Cross has served more than 5.3 million meals and snacks and has distributed more than 1.3 million relief items, such as clean-up kits and hygiene kits.
“The gift from the Community Foundation to the American Red Cross is greatly appreciated,” Mac Aulay continued, “The Community Foundation has long been a supporter of local disaster relief and preparedness efforts and their dedication to providing relief for those who are suffering is fantastic.”