Local Red Cross pitches in to help Hurricane Harvey victims

Monday, August 28, 2017
Local help for Harvey victims
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Local help for Harvey victims: Katherine Scott reports during Action News at Noon on August 28, 2017.

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Frightening images continue to emerge from southeastern Texas: people stranded, homes destroyed, water continuing to rise.

As of noon Monday, the Eastern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Red Cross had already deployed 12 volunteers to Texas, and CEO Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes expects to send more.

Complete coverage of Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath

But there are also many ways you can help here at home, in the Lehigh and Delaware Valleys.

The need is immediate, and financial donations are fluid and flexible.

It's as easy as texting the word "Harvey" to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross. Tangible items come later.

"When people donate things, they need to be cleaned, sorted and shipped," said Cardwell Hughes. "That takes personnel resources that detract from our dominant mission. We are still in the eye of storm. We've got to get people safe."

On Sunday, Red Cross volunteers from this area embarked on their long journey to a staging area in Baton Rouge.

From there they will make their way to Houston in a truck stocked with food.

For those who want to give their time, Judge Hughes recommends registering to volunteer to get the necessary training now in order to volunteer for future disasters both near and far.

"We're still having disaster responses here at home," said Cardwell Hughes. "Last night (Sunday) we had five fires in southeastern Pennsylvania. We need volunteers."

Judge Hughes added there is also a need for blood donations.

"Right now we've had to close hospitals in Texas because they're not safe," she said. "Right now their blood supply will have to be shifted around as we shift patients to other hospitals."

The American Red Cross headquarters in Philadelphia also houses one of the organization's two national call centers.

In the last 24 hours they've taken more than 7,000 calls, with trained Red Cross volunteers aiding victims by providing shelter and emergency information.

For more ways to help and more detail, click here.


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