CT Red Cross Provides Aid; Seeks Blood Donations

Many blood drives canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.

The American Red Cross continues providing shelter and relief, nearly a week after the first shelter opened in Connecticut on Oct. 28 to house people after Hurricane Sandy. 

On Saturday, there were 29 shelters open in Connecticut, housing more than 300. While many people are returning home as the power comes back, there are still people without power or water at home who need a safe, warm place to stay. 

As more citizens return to their homes, the Red Cross is working to provide other services to support recovery, including distribution of water, snacks and cleanup supplies.

Sunday, the Red Cross had vehicles on mobile distribution routes in Derby, Fairfield, Milford, Monroe, Norwalk, Orange, Shelton, Waterford and Westport. The Red Cross will distribute cleanup kits, snacks and water in Fairfield, Norwalk and Westport. 

“The Red Cross response in Connecticut has been significant,” said American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region CEO Mario Bruno. “Since October 28, the Red Cross has supported 47 shelters, providing nearly 3,000 overnight stays. We have served more than 55,000 snacks and meals and distributed hundreds of cleanup kits and thousands of comfort kits, containing basic personal care needs.”

Bruno said the Red Cross has made numerous health and mental health contacts.

“We have trained, licensed medical professionals who help us to meet with clients, assess their needs for medical care or emotional support and connect them with more in-depth services, if needed.”

Bruno noted that more than 600 volunteers have supported Red Cross relief operations in Connecticut.

“We are grateful to the many people who have stepped forward to help. Our local, trained volunteers have responded with tremendous dedication, despite the fact that many of them were affected at their own homes. We are also grateful to our neighbors from the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Red Cross in Western Massachusetts and to the many partner organizations that support our work.” 

Mr. Bruno thanked the many people who have stepped forward to volunteer time, to give blood when asked and to donate funds.

“We are grateful to the many people who have contacted us in recent days to offer their help. We are shifting into a different phase of the operation, where trained vehicle operators will be distributing supplies. While we may not be able to take up these new volunteers on their generous offers, we hope they will consider training with us to respond in the future.”

Bruno said the need continues for blood and urged people to call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcross.org to find a nearby blood drive.

“Storm Sandy disrupted blood drives in many states. We hope Connecticut residents will help us recover the shortfall in donations and assure a safe, adequate blood supply.”

Sandy affected many eastern states. The American Red Cross relief operation for Hurricane Sandy continues to grow each day, with more than 4,000 disaster workers providing shelter, food and relief supplies, particularly in hard-hit New Jersey and New York.

Submitted by the Connecticut Red Cross.


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