By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Red Cross received a significant donation today for its Red Cross House in the Powelton Village section of West Philadelphia.

Cathy Engel Menendez, with the electric utility Peco, says her organization’s parent company, Exelon, is donating half a million dollars to the Red Cross House to help victims of disasters transition back to their normal lives.

“We certainly spend a lot of time dealing with local emergencies,” she said today, “be it from weather or from fire or other emergency situations.  And a lot of times the Red Cross is there, and they’re a partner with us, helping the customers that may be displaced or affected by the emergencies that we’re also battling with.”

In honor of the donation, Menendez says Peco workers are volunteering at the Red Cross House, assembling furniture for one of the lounges (top phot0).

Red Cross CEO Renee Cardwell Hughes (below) says the most common reason for Philadelphians to make use of the Red Cross House is fire.

“And in fact, in the region we will see almost 1,000 fires in the course of a calendar year,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

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(Renee Cardwell Hughes, CEO of the Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter. Credit: Hadas Kuznits)


The Red Cross is a donation-supported organizaton, and Hughes says they are gearing up for their annual Red Ball fundraiser, on March 10th.

Hear Hadas Kuznits’ interview with Renee Cardwell Hughes about the Red Cross’ upcoming “Red Ball”…

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