The American Red Cross responds to disasters across the United States every day. With 2018 being a record year for disaster response, we would not have been able to help alleviate human suffering without support from our community partners across the country through our In-Kind Donation (IKD) Partner Donation Program. Through this program, we work with local community groups and organizations to ensure that small goods donations reach the people who need them most. Earl Brown, a member of our National Disaster Partnerships Team, says that the program “enables us to support our partners in grassroots initiatives that directly benefit affected communities during and immediately following disasters.” Below are some examples of how the program allowed us to work alongside organizations in the community to help those impacted by the California wildfires in late 2018.
- When the disaster response operation started receiving donations of clothing, blankets and toiletries that could not be stored or dispersed effectively to survivors, instead of turning them away, members of our National Disaster Partnerships team worked with local organizations that were better equipped to handle donated goods. Organizations like the Fred Jordan Missions in Covina were able to take the donations offered by Cal Poly SLO-Alpha Phi Sorority and make sure that they were given to families in need.
- Many young people were also inspired to help wildfire survivors. Young people like fifth grader Filip Oliver, who worked in his community to collect toys for children affected by the Camp and Woolsey fires. The Red Cross was able to connect Filip to Toys for Tots-Salvation Army in Los Angeles, which distributed the toys to children in affected communities.
- Smoke from the wildfires negatively impacted the health of not only survivors but all of the disaster responders as well. So, when Oxygen Plus reached out to the Red Cross to donate portable oxygen containers, we knew we had to find the perfect partner to receive their donation. Our partnerships team was able to connect Oxygen Plus with Lott Carey-NBCA (National Baptist Convention of America) who was able to utilize the donation to help wildfire survivors.
As we head into 2019, we look forward to continuing to team up with community partners to help those who have been impacted by disasters. To learn more about the Red Cross and how we work with partners, please visit our community partners page.