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One Year After Superstorm Sandy, American Red Cross Holds “Thank a Thon” Phone Bank at CBS 3’s Studios

(Credit: Chris Collett)

(Credit: Chris Collett)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The American Red Cross has released a one-year Superstorm Sandy report detailing its response and recovery work to help residents affected by this historic storm, which made landfall on October 29, 2012.

The work of the Red Cross is possible because of the compassion and generosity of the American public, and the Red Cross already has spent or made commitments to spend $280 million, more than 90 percent of the $308 million donated for Sandy. The Red Cross expects to use the biggest share of the remaining money to help people with a range of housing-related expenses, support community resiliency programs and give more grants to community non-profit partners to help Sandy survivors.

In an effort to show further gratitude, the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania will be holding a “Thank a Thon” phone bank at CBS 3’s studios on Tuesday, October 29th from 12pm – 7pm. It is the first time such an event has been undertaken publicly. Red Cross volunteers will personally call thousands of Red Cross Sandy donors and encourage them to read the full Sandy report.

“CBS 3 stepped up and donated a lot of their air time to help raise money for Sandy victims,” says American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes. “It seemed appropriate that CBS 3 help us say thank you.”

“We are delighted to once again partner with the Red Cross, this time to thank our viewers and the Delaware Valley for their extraordinary generosity in the wake of Sandy last year,” says Jon Hitchcock, President and General Manager of CBS 3 and The CW Philly. “We were overwhelmed at the more than $600,000 our viewers donated and how, whenever there is a need, they are quick to rise to the occasion to help.”

The One-Year Superstorm Sandy Report details the extraordinary measures taken by the Red Cross to respond to Sandy, from volunteer deployment and relief efforts to temporary and permanent housing assistance to key partnerships with government and non-government entities, as well as the strong outpouring of support from donors.

The Red Cross met Sandy’s significant damage with its largest U.S. response in five years. More than 17,000 trained workers from all over the country – 90 percent of them volunteers, powered the massive emergency relief effort. This response included:

  • Serving more than 17.5 million meals and snacks in a huge feeding operation.
  • Handing out more than 7 million relief items such as cold weather items and clean-up supplies.
  • Providing nearly 113,000 health services and emotional support contacts for people who have been living in very tough conditions.
  • Providing 74,000 overall shelter stays for Sandy.

The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania played a significant role in preparing residents for Sandy’s landfall by sharing tips for getting ready and providing information on the supplies people need. Once Sandy hit, the Red Cross had 17 shelters in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties open, housing more than 600 people for at least one night. In addition, several thousand people came by the Red Cross shelter and supply distribution site at Palisades High School in Bucks County for meals, hot showers, cleaning supplies, tarps, ice, water, and other supplies for more than a week.

Once the need in Southeastern Pennsylvania subsided, more than 200 local volunteers deployed for up to three weeks to New York and New Jersey to assist with relief efforts there.

“Once the needs of our region were met, we were quick to help our friends and neighbors in New Jersey and New York,” says Hughes. “The response was a testament to our volunteers, staff, donors, and supporters, because without them the response would not have been nearly as effective.”

The report and other information on the Red Cross Sandy relief and recovery efforts can be found at RedCrossPhilly.org.

To donate to the Red Cross, visit http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations.

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