Can We Help Victims of Hurricane Sandy?
Nov 9, 2012 12:55 pm| Permalink
Yes. My heart goes out to those in New York, New Jersey, and other areas of the country who suffered the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Our community was fortunate to sustain comparatively minimal damage, so many here may be in a position to help others. Their needs are real: homes washed away and entire neighborhoods destroyed. Parts of Vermont suffered similar catastrophic damage during Tropical Storm Irene and we were fortunate to have others come to our aid. Now, we can help others.
A financial donation to the American Red Cross is a quick way to help. Their website explains, “Each year, the American Red Cross immediately responds to about 70,000 natural and man-made disasters in the U.S., ranging from fires to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents and explosions.” They have the systems in place to make your donation count. It goes on to say, “Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's immediate emergency needs caused by disaster. When disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and emotional health service to address basic human needs and assist individuals and families in resuming their normal daily activities independently.” Your donation will make a difference – and they report that over 91 cents of every dollar donated goes to their humanitarian mission. The images in the newspaper, on television, and online show the need is overwhelming. You can make a donation to the American Red Cross by visiting their website at: http://www.redcross.org/or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). If you prefer, you can also mail donations to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines, IA 50340-2018.
When a disaster strikes, the need for blood donations also comes to mind. Hurricane Sandy not only caused injuries requiring blood transfusions, but it disrupted many blood drives, putting further strain on the nation’s blood supply. For an hour or so of your time and a pinch on your arm, you can help save a life by donating blood. I know of three upcoming blood drives coming up in our area. BFA Fairfax is hosting a drive on November 27, from 11 am to 4:30pm. On the same day, Milton High School is also hosting a drive from 9 am to 2 pm. The American Legion in Enosburg is hosting a drive on December 13, from 12:30 pm to 5:30pm. You can schedule an appointment for these drives through the American Red Cross’ website (listed above). NMC obtains the blood we need for our patients from the American Red Cross, so maintaining a strong supply helps not only the victims of Hurricane Sandy, but ultimately our own neighbors as well.
These are just two suggestions for how to help. Others may catch your eye, as I anticipate food drives and other opportunities will come together. In an impromptu effort to help, NMC Chef Matt Longley and NMC Concierge Patty Rainville drove a load of supplies donated by hospital family and community members to New Jersey over the weekend. I have heard of similar efforts being organized by communities, companies, churches, and organizations. I know Green Mountain Power has sent line crews to Connecticut to help restore power. NMC has reached out to see how we might best help a hospital that was flooded and evacuated. People’s willingness to help is inspiring. I hope you will take the opportunity to find a way to help however you can.
While our community escaped the brunt of this particular storm, Hurricane Sandy should serve to catch our attention. NMC was diligent in our preparations, assuring proper supplies, food, fuel, etc. You should do the same for your home and business. Visit Vermont Emergency Management online at http://vem.vermont.gov/preparednessfor great information on how you can be better prepared for an emergency or natural disaster. By taking proactive steps, we can help ensure we are in the best position possible to endure a future event like Hurricane Sandy here in our community.
-- Jill Berry Bowen, NMC Chief Executive Officer