WARREN - The American Red Cross of Mahoning Valley is looking to raise another $20,000 for the victims of Hurricane Sandy to reach its $100,000 goal by the end of the year.
Karen Conklin, executive director of the chapter, said the organization is still sending money and volunteers to the disaster area battered in October by hurricane winds, rains and flooding.
"There still are people living in areas that do not have power," Conklin said. "There are some people whose homes were completely destroyed."
Red Cross Volunteer Janet “Shorty” Decov provides Long Island resident Barry Weinshank comfort while working in the storm-battered area in October. Special to the Tribune Chronicle
Conklin said the chapter decided that $100,000 was a reasonable goal for the Mahoning and Trumbull county region.
"It's 25 cents per person," she said. "We began collecting money for the disaster shortly after we learned of its size and scope."
The Red Cross was involved with the multi-state disaster even before it hit the East Coast.
"It is one of the lessons we learned from Hurricane Katrina," she said. "We were ready for immediate response."
Red Cross Disaster Specialist Jessica Jaros said the local chapter has sent five volunteers into the area since the hurricane. The volunteers have done everything from providing meals, water and other needed materials, to clearing areas where homes were demolished, to helping to repair salvageable homes.
"We are providing whatever is needed," Jaros said.
Volunteers go for no more three weeks at a time.
"At the time of the hurricane, we also sent volunteers to the Cleveland area to help with the damage there," Jaros said. "In Ohio we helped organize four shelters and six reception areas."
Conklin said Red Cross chapters from across the country are still active in the the New York and the New Jersey areas. So far, with the assistance of Southern Baptist Convention, the Red Cross has provided more than 8.2 million meals and snacks. It also provided 6.2 million relief items, including cold weather items and cleaning supplies.
"The Red Cross has provided approximately 94,000 health services and emotional support contacts. Overall, the non-profit agency has provided more than 80,000 shelter stays for people who lost their homes and surroundings.
"The storm has left devastation in its wake and we will be helping people in the weeks and the months to come," Conklin said.