Since 2007, the Pee Dee Chapter of the American Red Cross has served Chesterfield County and has come to the aid families and individuals who needed assistance in the wake of a disaster. In 2007, the chapter responded to 12 cases. The previous year, there were a reported three cases in Chesterfield County. The number of cases has continued to grow however.
In 2008, there were over 40 cases worked and it looks like that number may increase yet again in 2009. Although the number of cases has continued to grow each year, contributions haven’t. During this three-year period, there has been approximately $50,000 in financial aid given to client in Chesterfield County. Contributions have only equaled $26,000, forcing the chapter to make some tough decisions along the way.
Chesterfield County had its own office in the Department of Social Services building in Chesterfield. With the lack of contributions and donations, the office has closed and all calls are forwarded to Florence and responded to from there as well.
Pee Dee Chapter Executive Director Linda Boone-Smith has continued to ask for contributions from individuals, businesses and municipalities in an effort to keep the Chesterfield County Chapter self-sufficient, but with very minimal results. So far, the town of Patrick is the only municipality to donate funds to the organization. The town donated $1500. Hopefully other towns will follow the lead of Patrick and lend a helping hand to the organization.
The misconception with the American Red Cross is that it is federally funded. The organization needs donations to provide its services in communities. When families face difficult days after disasters, it’s the Red Cross that comes to the rescue at no charge.Without donations and funds, these families can’t be rescued.
It’s time to step up to the plate. Churches, businesses and municipalities should take the opportunity to donate to a worthy organization. Donating funds to the American Red Cross is stepping up and caring about members of the community and helping them in their time of need.
Unfortunately, disasters can happen to anyone at anytime. The American Red Cross can be there to provide help, but donations have to be made to keep the Chesterfield County American Red Cross going.
If you are interested in donating funds to help the Chesterfield County American Red Cross, contact Linda Boone-Smith at (843) 623-7395 or (843) 662-8121.
•Contact Jeff Watson at email@example.com