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Local Red Cross Needs Help

By Staff | Jun 24, 2009

The American Red Cross of the Ohio Valley is in dire need of donations and volunteers, explained Penny Howard, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator of the Red Valley Chapter.

The River Valley Chapter consists of 12 counties-10 in West Virginia and two in Ohio. Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio, Preston, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, and Wetzel counties comprise the chapter of West Virginia service area, while its Ohio counties include Belmont and Monroe.

Howard wants the public to know that funds are low for the Red Cross, as are volunteers in Wetzel County and the surrounding areas. She is seeking people who would like to donate their time and skills to the Red Cross. Howard explained that if enough people want to become volunteers, she will have the training classes locally.

The Red Cross is not financed by the United States Government in any way. They are a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross Movement. They provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies They also collect and distribute half of the nation’s blood supply and help victims of more than 67,000 disasters annually.

The symbol on their vehicles is know all over the United States and their modified symbol around the world is sight of hope for those suffering from a fire, hurricane, floods, and much more. They work closely with government disaster offices and officials assisting those in need.

They teach CPR, first aid, swimming and lifeguarding, Baby Sitter Book Camp, and much more. The Red Cross works closely with the county health departments. Howard also pointed out they teach Continuing Education Units free for law enforcement.

She talked of how the Red Cross does damage assessment, shelter organization, offers family service, and has available their emergency response vehicles.

Howard explained that even teenagers, ages 16-18 can volunteer for the Red Cross, but they must have parental consent and the parent must be with them at all times while volunteering for the Red Cross. “There is no age limit on adults,” Howard noted. She welcomes retirees, stay at home moms, or anyone who wants to help out her community.

“The Red Cross will pay for travel and food for anyone, after training, that would like to assist in a disaster outside their area,” stated Howard.

Many people may not know that the Red Cross also assists the military and families as well, becoming a vital link of getting information when needed to military people. This is called the SAF, or Service for Armed Forces. They also aid in getting a military person home, in the case of a death in a family.

Howard explained that the Red Cross also helps with the briefing before deployment of the military. She stated that they assist with all contact information needed.

While providing service to 1.4 million active duty military personnel and their families, the Red Cross also reaches out to more than 1.2 million members of the National Guard and Reserves and their families living in nearly every community in America.

Both active duty and community-based military can count on the Red Cross to provide emergency communications that link them with their families back home. They also give them access to financial assistance in partnership with the military aid societies.

Donations are greatly needed for the Red Valley Chapter as their funds are low, expressed Howard. She told of how 90 cents of every dollar goes back to help for client services. All donations are tax-exempt and no matter how small the donation is “we will take it,” she expressed. Any corporation or business can donate as well and help out the community and the Red Valley Chapter of Red Cross.

The chapter can be contacted by calling (304) 232-0711 for more information to volunteer or to make a donation.