2019 a busy year for the Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers provide assistance to local residents in times of distater.

With the frequency of severe disasters on the rise, hundreds of thousands of people in 2019 turned to the American Red Cross for food, shelter and recovery support. Through it all the Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross was there to help.

In just a couple of weeks’ time, the Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross provided more than 4,300 overnight shelter stays with its partners, served more than 30,000 meals and snacks, mobilized 635 volunteers, and distributed more than 1,330 Clean Up kits to help people impacted by Hurricane Dorian.

In 2019, the Palmetto Region of the American Red Cross was supported by over 2,100 active volunteers.

Over 1,100 of those volunteers are disaster volunteers.

“Everyone in this community has stepped up this year to help. From rolling up a sleeve to donate blood, to helping a victim of a disaster, to baking cookies for our military and their families,” said Louise Welch-Williams, regional chief executive officer. “I have been so humbled by the compassion and care our volunteers have given to so many in need this year.”

Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, accounting for the vast majority of disasters that the Red Cross responds to in the U.S. In 2019, the Red Cross of South Carolina has provided recovery support for more than 7,000 people affected by home fires.

Across the U.S. this year close to 9,000 Red Cross workers left their homes to serve over a million meals, distribute 354,000 relief items and help to provide 79,000 overnight stays for those who have been displaced.

“We always need the volunteers to be here and be willing,” said Ben Williamson, Communications Director for the Palmetto, SC Region. “Ninety percent of all of our work across the country is done by volunteers.”

Williamson said disaster response is big part of the job for most of the year. But there is other work that needs to be done.

Red Cross of South Carolina was in communities every day in 2019 collecting blood. Since January of 2019, the Red Cross of SC, hosted 3,650 drives and collected nearly 75,000 units of blood.

Since January, the team serving the Armed Forces helped nearly 6,300 military families by providing over 14,100 services.

“It’s strong, it’s strong. We’ve got a good community in South Carolina that is always willing to help” said Williamson. “Donations are a big key too obviously.”

For information on how to donate or volunteer in 2020, call 1-800-Red-Cross or visit redcross.org.