Our View

Published 2:40 pm Wednesday, September 14, 2005

By Staff
Red Cross maintains toll-free call center for evacuee needs
Thousands of people affected by the wrath of Hurricane Katrina are beginning to rebuild their lives, thanks in part to emergency financial assistance offered by the American Red Cross. Survivors are registering for aid by calling 1-800-975-7585, a 24 – hour a day lifeline that quickly delivers emergency funds to them through a variety of innovative methods. Specially trained call agents are processing an average of 1000 calls an hour, and more agents are being added to the call center today.
To Evelyn Moore and her two children, the help has been a godsend.
"I didn't have any backup money when this happened, so this money will go for bills, food, clothes and shoes," she said. "It's a start back."
Ms. Moore was a long-time resident of Gulfport, who is living, in her woods, pillar to post – staying with friends and family while trying to begin the process of reconstructing her life.
"It lets me know that some people are out there looking out for us," said May King, who evacuated to Tennessee before the storm, but is now back in Mississippi, using Red Cross emergency assistance funds to pay her rent, buy new clothing for her children, and meet her family's other basic needs.
The toll-free call center will provide financial resources and referrals to hurricane survivors across the nation. To apply for aid, families calling in must be ready to provide their name, pre-storm address, ZIP code and home telephone number. Callers must be prepared to write down a client ID number that they will take to a financial institution in their community to receive the assistance. To date, the Red Cross has already distributed more than $100 million in financial assistance to meet critical needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
The American Red Cross is responding to an unprecedented natural catastrophe and devoting every resource to this humanitarian relief effort. The American people can be confident the Red Cross will spare no effort to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Hurricane Katrina survivors.
(Editor's note: The following information was obtained from a release issued by the American Red Cross of Montgomery's public affairs office.)

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