Rice/Le Sueur Red Cross launches emergency fund drive

The Rice/Le Sueur Chapter of the American Red Cross has responded to eight fires since July 1, 2008, providing 29 individuals with $7,300 in assistance to meet the immediate needs of food, clothing, shelter, personal items, medications and counseling.

The most recent fire involved an apartment complex in Montgomery on February 21, where the Red Cross assisted 35 individuals with over $10,000 in immediate assistance. This brings the chapter's total assistance to more than $17,000 in the past seven months alone.

In order to meet the needs of the victims of these incidents and replenish the Local Disaster Relief Fund, the Rice/Le Sueur Chapter is launching an emergency effort drive to raise $17,000 by April 1.

Funds generated will be used to provide direct assistance to the victims of single or multiple family fires and other small disasters, in rebuilding their lives. This assistance provided during a time of crisis is one of the most crucial steps in the family's recovery process.

A gift of $1,000 will provide direct assistance to approximately two families. This will include emergency food, shelter, clothing and health services as needed. The average cost to serve the emergency needs of affected families in Rice and Le Sueur Counties is $500 per incident.

The American Red Cross is a volunteer driven organization. It is through the volunteers and their commitment that we respond to disasters locally 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers are continually trained and paired with a mentor to improve the quality of service in responding to local disasters, which primarily consists of single family fires in our community. This project is a true example of volunteer involvement and neighbor helping neighbor.

With the rash of fires in the beginning of the year, resources have been spread thin at the chapter. Sandy Pieri, Chair of the Board of Directors, said, No matter what

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