Red Cross Club Aids National Hurricane Relief Effort

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Red Cross Club has started a campaign to raise money for those affected by the recent hurricanes that have caused damage in Texas, Louisiana and Florida.

Hurricane Harvey was a category four hurricane that struck Southeast Texas Aug. 25, 2017. The hurricane is currently estimated to have cost the American economy roughly 190 billion dollars and has caused the deaths of at least 70 people.

Not more than a month later, category five hurricane, Hurricane Irma, struck Florida Sept. 11, 2017. Irma is estimated to have caused the death of at least 40 people and left about 6.7 million people without power.

“I talked to Mrs. Stutz and I talked to [co-president] Sujith [Pendekanti] as well, and we all agreed that after seeing the extent of the destruction in Texas and Louisiana that we had to do something as a club and as a community,” junior and Red Cross Club co-president Sumedha Attani said.

The Red Cross Club set up a Crowdrise campaign that allows anyone interested in helping the relief effort to donate money to the American Red Cross. The link to this campaign has been advertised on their social media pages. The donated money goes toward purchasing food and providing shelter for those in need.

“Do I know anyone personally affected by [Hurricane Harvey and Irma?] No, but I still made a donation,” science teacher Sharon Stutz wrote to the Talon. “We are all Americans and we all have the right to our basic needs being met but sometimes situations arise that make that impossible. It’s time that we do our part and help the American Red Cross send food, shelter and medical aid to those affected by the flooding.”

The initial goal of the Crowdrise campaign was $500 and they have already exceeded that goal by double.

“Our original goal was $500 but when we reached that goal within within 2 days, we extended the goal,” Stutz said. “Additionally, by that time, there was evidence that Hurricane Irma was going to hit the Bahamas and Florida as well as other gulf states and be devastating as well, thereby increasing the need for help.”

The American Red Cross has provided over 1.2 million meals, distributed 246,000 relief items — such as diapers, comfort kits and cleaning supplies — and provided around 40,000 mental and physical health contacts as apart of relief efforts.

According to the Washington Post, thousands of animals are also currently displaced or missing. Stutz said that empathy towards the animals in these situations is important as well.

“I also donated to a relief site for horses affected by the flooding in Texas,” Stutz said. “Kindness matters. Empathy matters. One day it could be you asking for the help.”

Amid all this destruction however, Attanti said she believes that even those far away have a chance to contribute to the hurricane relief effort.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re such a small community and we’re not really a part of these bigger events that affect L.A. or San Francisco,” Attani said. “I think by donating and raising all this money [we] can make a difference even though we’re not physically there.”

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