Red Cross provides support

Published 7:01 am Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Red Cross flag flies over disaster sites when the organization is providing aid to those in need.  Photo submitted

The Red Cross flag flies over disaster sites when the organization is providing aid to those in need.
Photo submitted

While the Red Cross is known as a national and international organization, they also provide many services to Pearl River County and surrounding areas. This year the Mississippi Region office of the Red Cross responded to 2,300 local disasters, which ranged from tornado damage to house fires.

In Pearl River County, the South Mississippi Chapter, which provides services to 13 counties including Pearl River County, of the Red Cross provided help to those who lost their homes in the Christmas Day tornado of 2012.

While the county was lucky enough to not be effected by last week’s storms that caused two deaths in the state, the Red Cross responded to the counties with damage to provide disaster relief.

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““We are strategically mobilizing volunteers, staff and supplies from our chapters closest to the affected communities,” said Bob Devaney, Regional Disaster Services Director for the American Red Cross Mississippi Region in a release last week. “Utilizing our pre-positioned resources closest to the impacted areas ensures the most efficient and effective Red Cross response possible.”

The Red Cross also provided health and mental health services to the families who lost loved ones in the tornados.

Those in South Mississippi also gave back to the Red Cross this year through donations and volunteering.

Four volunteers from the South Mississippi Chapter gave back this year by traveling to help the victims of the flooding in Colorado.

The four volunteers, David and Ann Loveless, Gloria Harlan and Sue Jordan all traveled to Colorado to help residents in Colorado after devastating floods struck parts of the state.

Martha Duvall, communications officer, said more than $1.2 million of donations went to provide direct relief services to aid Mississippi in their disaster recovery, including those affected by the Hattiesburg tornadoes in February and East Central tornados in April.

“The American Red Cross exists to provide compassionate care to those in need,” said Duvall. “Our network of generous donors, volunteers and employees share a mission of preventing and relieving suffering, here at home and around the world, through five key service areas: Disaster Relief; Blood Services; Service to the Armed Forces; Preparedness, Health and Safety; and International Services.”

Across the United States, the Red Cross served 1.8 million meals and snacks, provided 89,000 health and mental health visits, responded to 52,000 house fires and gave out 1 million relief items. 33,700 of those items were toothbrushes. The Red Cross also supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood through their blood donation drives.

Duvall said individuals interested in volunteering, donating or finding out more about the Mississippi Region of the Red Cross can visit, The South Mississippi Chapter Facebook page is also updated regularly with helpful information and what the chapter is doing to help. The Facebook page can be found at

The Mississippi Region of the Red Cross also provides support and comfort to service men and women throughout the year.

According to the website, a donation of “$60 will provide comfort kits for 20 Keesler Airmen, NAS-Meridian or Camp Shelby Soldiers” who are deployed overseas.