WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is recognizing Walmart, Sam's Club and its customers for donating $4 million to help provide around-the-clock shelter, food and comfort to thousands of people impacted by Hurricane Florence.
Starting September 15, Walmart registers and websites collected donations that were matched $2 for every $1 by Walmart. On September 19, due to the generosity of Walmart and Sam's Club customers, the Walmart 2018 Hurricane Relief Fund administered by Foundation For The Carolinas has contributed $4 million to the Red Cross.
This funding has enabled the Red Cross to send thousands of disaster workers to the affected areas to help shelter, feed and comfort people in large portions of South and North Carolina who are impacted by prolonged and catastrophic flooding due to the hurricane. As rivers continue to rise and crest, many more people are expected to need help for an extended time.
"Support from partners such as Walmart, Sam's Club and its customers, enabled the Red Cross to quickly mobilize volunteers, equipment and supplies to provide help and hope to people across the East Coast impacted by Hurricane Florence," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "We deeply appreciate Walmart's generous donation as we work together to support people in need with shelter, food, comfort and other emergency support."
The American Red Cross and Walmart have worked together in communities nationwide for years helping to prepare families for the unexpected and respond to large and small disasters. Walmart coordinates with the Red Cross to source life sustaining supplies such as water, snacks, formula and diapers quickly.
"The benefit of this close partnership is seen daily during major disaster responses," said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics for the Red Cross. "This week we coordinated with the Walmart and Sam's Club in Raleigh to get supplies to a shelter surrounded by water. The Red Cross drove Walmart shelter supplies to the Air National Guard for delivery to the isolated Fairmont Middle School, and thanks to this teamwork, a one-month old baby with critical food needs was helped at the shelter."
"As our neighbors in the Carolinas continue to recover, we are proud to support organizations on the frontline, providing critical support," said Julie Gehrki, Vice President of Walmart. "Thanks to the generosity of our customers we fully met our match. The funds from Walmart and Walmart customers will immediately assist communities with response and sheltering while investing in essential long-term recovery across the Carolinas."
WHAT THE RED CROSS IS DOING
More than 3,600 Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country have been mobilized to help shelter, feed and support people affected by Florence. Working with partners, the Red Cross has served about 300,000 meals and snacks, and distributed more than 3,400 relief items like diapers and comfort kits that contain deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste and other hygiene items for people forced from their homes. Volunteer mental health and health services professionals have provided some 9,600 contacts to provide support and care to evacuees.
PLEASE GIVE BLOOD More than 200 blood drives have been forced to cancel through this week due to Hurricane Florence, resulting in more than 5,400 uncollected blood and platelet donations.The Red Cross urges people in unaffected areas to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to care for patients in the Southeast and throughout the country. There is a critical need for platelet and type O blood donations. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
HOW YOU CAN HELP The Red Cross has launched a massive response to this disaster and depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Florence by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word FLORENCE to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Florence relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.orgor cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.