Call for local blood donations, funds for hurricane relief
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News October 30, 2012 9:08PM
Latest look at Sandy’s toll, Page 14
Updated: December 1, 2012 4:51PM
ELGIN — Fox Valley residents who want to help recovery efforts on the East Coast post-Hurricane Sandy can do so by either donating blood or money to the Red Cross, said Martha Carlos, chief communications officer with the Red Cross of Greater Chicago.
As of Monday evening, Carlos said, the American Red Cross was housing 11,000 people in 258 shelters across 16 states as a result of the storm.
Locally, a dozen volunteers from the Chicago area have headed east to begin recovery and aid efforts, she said. Two mobile feeding trucks also have gone out.
Another 10 or so volunteers were expected to head out Wednesday, she said.
“We have 1,300 or so American Red Cross volunteers working nationwide and from this area,” Carlos said.
While financial donations are needed, she said, the Red Cross understands not everyone can afford that now.
What the agency is in dire need of, she said, is blood donations — not for the residents in those 16 affected states but to replace blood drives cancelled by the storm.
“Half of the nation’s blood supplies come from the Red Cross” and its blood drives, she said. “Every day we need a certain amount of blood to be collected. Right now, it is not even safe to go out, so they are not donating blood right now. In unaffected areas like Chicago and Indiana, that is an immediate way to help,” Carlos said.
Monetary donations can be made by going to the website at www.redcross.org or by dialing 1-800-Redcross. Cellphone users can also text Redcross to 90999, and a $10 donation will appear on the user’s next cellphone bill, she said.
To keep up on what the organization is doing in Chicago and the East Coast, she also suggested that residents “like” them on Facebook, American Red Cross of Greater Chicago; or on Twitter, @ChicagoRedCross.
Meanwhile, there were no immediate mobilizations of local emergency services to assist authorities in the hurricane-stricken area, according to police and National Guard spokesmen.
Staff writer Dave Gathman contributed to this story.