Big Sandy Red Cross in Danger of Closing

By: Dara Rees Email
By: Dara Rees Email

The director of the Big Sandy Red Cross says it is more than the economy that is threatening the chapter. She says a busy house fire season is depleting their funds.

The Big Sandy Chapter of The American Red Cross responds to house fires, brings people in the military home for family emergencies, and helps with almost any disaster, but without donations, those services could disappear.

Chairman of the Board Dennis Dorton says, "Quite frankly, I think The Red Cross is something worth saving and worth protecting here."

"I don't want to turn anyone down when they've had a house fire, because if it's your house or my house, I would expect the red cross to be there," says Robyn Tackett, director of the Big Sandy Red Cross.

The Big Sandy branch is not funded nationally, but depends solely on local donations. Robyn Tackett says it takes about one thousand dollars to help a family after a disaster and in just the past week she's helped nine families after house fires, that's $9,000 of donated money.

"That's a lot of money to go through in a very short period of time. There's no way with that depletion of funds that the chapter can rebound very fast," says Tackett.

In fires alone last year, the chapter helped about 120 families.

"I think we all need to pull together and say is this an organization that we want to keep in our community, because even though we don't use it ever day ourselves, there is someone that needs The Red Cross every day," says Tackett.

"The real reality is that if we aren't able to raise this money we are going to have to close the doors on the chapter," says Dorton. He says the organization needs to raise $12,000 in the next 30 days.

Tackett says the good news is, there are plenty of volunteers, but without donations they can not continue.

Big Sandy Area Chapter
American Red Cross
113 South Central Avenue
Prestonsburg, KY 41653


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