Local Red Cross Chapters Need Help With Hometown Disasters

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

Thousands of people wait to return home after Hurricane Gustav hits the Gulf Coast. Clean up from the hurricane is underway in Louisiana and many people are looking for ways to help.

As the Red Cross receives donations for hurricane relief, local volunteers say they also need donations to respond to disasters here in eastern Kentucky every day.

The director of the Big Sandy Red Cross says they have responded to more than one hundred fires since January first, but without donations, they may not be able to provide for the community.

Hurricane Gustav brings many people's minds to giving back.

Director Robyn Tackett says, "When there are large scale disasters anywhere in the country, some of the things that it helps the most as a community chapter, is that it brings the red cross into the forefront of peoples thinking."

Red Cross board member Danny Vanhoose says, "There's a tremendous amount of work that I'm not sure a lot of people knew goes on, and i for one did not know that it has as much impact in the community as it does have."

Local chapters do not see any of the money from hurricane relief efforts, which leaves chapters like the Big Sandy Red Cross depending on donations year round for every day emergencies, here at home.

"The average person may have donated 25 dollars, and those donations as an average have gone down to 5 dollar donations," says Tackett.

Tackett says fewer people are donating because of the state of the economy, something that could hurt their chapter.

"We actually need more funds, because people tend to live in sub-standard housing, we have more fire due to that. And we want to be able to provide the same services, but without those donated dollars it's just not a possibility," says Tackett.

The Big sandy Chapter relies on fundraising to keep the chapter afloat.

"Fundraising is and ongoing effort. We never stop fundraising, because disasters don't take holidays." says Tackett.

The Big Sandy Chapter is wrapping up a "Heros" fundraiser September 8th, challenging businesses and communities to raise one thousand dollars.

The Big Sandy Chapter along with Appalachian Wireless is holding a golf tournament this weekend.


The contact number at the chapter is 606-886-8330 or caseworker on call to report a fire is 606-339-5911.

Big Sandy Area Red Cross Inaugural Golf Benefit at The Stone Crest Golf Course
September 5th, 2008
Registration - 8am
Tee Time - 9am

Teams can still sign up.
Contact Nanci Crum for more information.
101 Technology Way
Ivel, KY 41642
(800) 438-2355

The Big Sandy Area Red Cross Golf Benefit will be a "Four Ball Team Scramble" with prizes being awarded for First, Second, and Third Place teams.

Lunch will be provided, sponsored by Appalachian Wireless.

Sponsorship opportunities are available from $100 to $1,000.

All proceeds go to The Big Sandy Area Red Cross.

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