Smith County Red Cross needs donations

After helping with the largest evacuation in U.S. history, the Smith County chapter of the Red Cross is in need of monetary donations, it announced today.

According to a press release, the Smith County Red Cross provided 12 shelters caring for 1,870 evacuees and serving over 37,444 meals and snacks, and an estimated 10,000 additional meals were provided to support non-Red Cross shelters in Smith County. Throughout the Gulf coast area there were a total of 572 shelter centers providing 440,000 meals.

Financial contributions will be used to pay for needed items to victims of natural disasters including food, cots, blankets, toiletries diapers and baby formula.

Hurricane Gustav evacuees from Southeast Texas may have returned home, but the local volunteers of the American Red Cross continue to work.  Cleanup has begun.  Cots need to be cleaned, collected and stored.  Inventory must be done so that supplies can be replenished in preparation for the next disaster.

The Red Cross estimates that the massive relief effort by the Red Cross for Hurricane Gustav alone will cost at least $80 million dollars.

Cathryn Khalil /