Archived Story

Red Cross in search of everyday heroes

Published 9:19pm Monday, February 25, 2013

Disaster often strikes without warning and sometimes the deeds and actions of virtual strangers can be lifesavers, even heroic. That’s the thought behind the American Red Cross’ Heroes campaign — a chance for anyone, or any group, to become a hero to those in need.

The Greater Pamlico Area Chapter of Red Cross launches its Heroes campaign at noon Thursday at the Washington Fire Department, Station no. 2, with a luncheon rally. Jeff Varner, WNCT Channel 9’s news anchor will be the guest speaker at the event, which is open to the public and requires an RSVP.

According to Summer Woodard, Red Cross chief development officer for the eastern North Carolina region, the Heroes campaign is an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors before tragedy strikes.

“In order to continue responding to disasters like fires, floods, tornados and hurricanes here in eastern North Carolina, the Red Cross depends on the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community,” explained Woodard.

In 2012, the Greater Pamlico Area Chapter responded to more than 30 house fires, provided over 100 victims with living necessities after last July’s “gustnado” and provided assistance in excess of $50,000 to victims of home fires and other disasters in the area.

“In addition, the chapter receives more than 50 emergency communications per year to be sent to our armed forces members deployed overseas. All of these things are funded through local community support,” Woodard said.

Red Cross Heroes can be an individual, a group or business. The only requirement is that each Hero pledge to raise $1,250 — money that will be used to support the disaster victims.

According to the Red Cross website, the costs of services provided for a family of four are as follows: $1,250 will purchase a two-night hotel stay, food and clothing after a fire; $500 will buy clothing and shoes after a disaster; $200 will provide groceries and food for one weekend; $150 will provide disaster comfort kits and clean up kits for a family affected by either fire or flood.

“This $1,250 is a direct cost to the Red Cross that provides temporary lodging, food and clothing to the family and is spent right here in the counties serviced by the Greater Pamlico Area chapter,” Woodard explained.

The website also points out the ways to raise the money for the campaign are numerous: car washes, bake sales, dinners, golf tournaments, raffles, “loose change” drives, neighborhood yard sales have all been successful fundraisers.

Woodard said the goal for this year’s Heroes campaign is $50,000. The five-week campaign wraps up on April 6 with the annual “Ball Drop” fundraiser and Heroes Victory Celebration at Warren Field, where cash prizes can be won.

To rsvp to Thursday’s Heroes campaign kick-off, call 252-355-3800 or email summer.woodard@redcross.org.

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