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The "Red Cross Report" is a publication of the American Red Cross of Rhode Island. These newsletters are now available online in Portable Document Format (pdf) for quick viewing and printing. Click Here to read the latest.

Friday, January 28, 2005
Tsunami Relief

Thanks to Generous Rhode Islanders, Fundraising Efforts to Wrap Up

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today announced that the $1.2 billion (1.4 billion Swiss francs) pledged worldwide in the 30 days since the tsunami was sufficient to meet the costs of the entire Red Cross tsunami relief program. Following the Federation's lead, the American Red Cross believes that current contributions and pledges, when received from the American public, will be sufficient to carry out its immediate and longer-term plans to assist survivors of the deadly tsunami that roared ashore December 26, 2004.

To date, approximately $1.2 billion has been given or pledged by donors to Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies around the world. Due to the generous financial contributions from public, foundation and corporate supporters, which now amounts to $236.2 million, the American Red Cross will no longer engage in new fundraising activities for tsunami relief after January 26. Many donations remain in "pledge" form and, while not yet received by the Red Cross, have been incorporated into funds deemed available for the relief effort. It is important for supporters to fulfill their pledged gifts, including completing special events, corporate matching gifts, and customer and employee donation programs currently planned. All donations made to the American Red Cross International Response Fund between December 26, 2004 and January 31, 2005, as well as funds designated for the tsunami relief effort, will be used to support the international response to those impacted by this devastating tsunami.

Locally, Rhode Island citizens and corporations have donated $2,290,236.27 to help the Red Cross tsunami relief effort over $500,000 of that total came from individual donations.  "The process of recovery is a slow one for disaster victims, but thanks to the generosity of this community, tsunami victims will receive lifesaving relief supplies and support," said Daniel Samborn, CEO of the RI Chapter. Within days of the disaster, matching challenges were offered by RI philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein and John Hazen White, Jr. of Taco, Inc. They, along with companies like CVS/pharmacy, Textron and Washington Trust, played a large role in Rhode Islanders contributing such a significant amount for tsunami survivors. 

CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust led the way in Rhode Island with a $1million gift the largest gift received in RI for tsunami relief efforts.  In addition, they offered a $500,000 challenge match to their customers nationwide.  This match resulted in $3.8 million raised from around the country. "CVS/pharmacy is such a wonderful supporter of the Red Cross, both locally and around the world and they really led the way with their community support," stated Samborn.

"We are deeply appreciative to all of the donors who participated in the CVS match for tsunami aid in South Asia," said Eileen Howard Dunn, Vice President of the CVS/pharmacy Charitable Trust.  "The Rhode Island Red Cross did a superb job in helping us raise $3.8 million through the community match.  We hope that this donation will have a real impact on the Red Cross' International Response Fund's efforts to provide tsunami relief to the people of South Asia."  

One month ago, a tidal wave created by the largest earthquake in four decades ripped apart the lives of millions of people and families living along the coasts of the Indian Ocean.  Aid continues to pour into the affected region bringing lifesaving relief supplies and resources to tsunami victims who lost their families, homes and livelihoods. "The American Red Cross, as part of the worldwide Red Cross movement, has witnessed one of the greatest demonstrations of compassion and support in its 124-year history," said Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross.  "We are honored and inspired that so many Americans have confidence in the American Red Cross to turn their care and compassion into action. The generous outpouring of support has enabled us to provide immediate lifesaving aid as well as prepare to provide longer-term assistance to help rebuild families and communities."

Americans time and again trust the American Red Cross with their donations, and the Red Cross is fully committed to upholding their trust. As part of its commitment to donors, the American Red Cross notifies the public when it has raised enough funds to implement comprehensive American Red Cross relief plans for a particular disaster.  The overwhelming public support of the American Red Cross has been mirrored at Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world. The American Red Cross, along with the Federation, now believes there are sufficient funds to meet the overall need. Should the American Red Cross need additional resources to help the tsunami victims, we have no doubt the generous American public will step up and meet the need.

Since December 26, the American Red Cross has kept Americans informed about funds raised and how these funds are being used to provide relief. The American Red Cross will continue to keep the public informed of its relief efforts through the American Red Cross Web site and stewardship reports. 

To help meet the unprecedented humanitarian needs in the wake of this catastrophic disaster, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched the largest emergency relief operation in its history. As a partner in the relief efforts, the American Red Cross is at work rushing much-needed relief supplies, specialized disaster relief experts and financial assistance to the countries suffering devastation from last month's tsunami.

The American Red Cross two-phased assistance plan calls for specialized relief immediately and over the long term in the following five areas:  food and safe water; healthcare and disease prevention; immediate family supplies; mental health counseling; and disaster preparedness and prevention measures

In the past thirty days, the RI Chapter of the American Red Cross has responded to 15 house fires and has provided emergency food, clothing and shelter to 25 families in need. This does not include other responses to various incidents such as water main breaks, as well as last weekend's blizzard where Red Cross personnel were posted at the Emergency Operations Center all weekend long, providing food to emergency personnel and providing transportation to medical personnel. The RI Chapter continues to attend every military deployment, educating families on the emergency services we can rived while their loved one is on active duty.

The RI Chapter typically spends $1,000 per family of four that it assists. All Red Cross assistance is free, thanks to contributions from individuals and organizations. The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on private donations to provide emergency assistance to Rhode Islanders in crisis.

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