The American Red Cross Drive-Thru & Drop-Off fundraiser in Knoxville to support the Super Storm Sandy relief effort brought in almost $12,000, thanks to a steady stream of drive-by donors to its office at 6921 Middlebrook Pike. Donations are continuing to come in. Combined with last week’s Phone Bank total the Red Cross has accumulated donations and pledges of over $76,000.
Several local celebrities and sport stars showed up to support the cause, including former Vols Head Coach Phil Fulmer, members of the Knoxville Ice Bears and Bass Fishing Pro Ott DeFoe.
Coca Cola provided beverages and Food City donated hot dogs for the drive-by donors as many stayed around to compete in a round of Red Cross Corn Hole.
The American Red Cross continues to increase the size of its already massive relief operation in order to provide aid and comfort to people affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The entire Red Cross fleet of response vehicles, more than 320 in total, has been activated to distribute meals, water, snacks and relief supplies. More than 4,100 Red Cross workers from all over the country are supporting shelters, providing food and water at fixed sites, and driving through neighborhoods to distribute meals and supplies. The superstorm, which struck the east coast of America last week, killed more than 120 people.
American Red Cross East Tennessee Regional Director of Communications Stan Gibert said, “We are doing everything possible to get help to where it is needed, but we are working under the same conditions as everyone in the area. While access to many areas is still challenging, we are expanding our reach into more communities every day.”
Gibert said as of Nov. 9, 49 East Tennesseans have volunteered for deployment to help out in the Northeast. Of that number, 27 are from the Knoxville area, 15 from Southeast Tennessee and seven from Northeast Tennessee. The East Tennessee region has also sent three Emergency Response Vehicles (ERV) to assist with feeding and basic needs.
Throughout the Red Cross East Tennessee Region, volunteers have been supporting the relief effort through monetary donations. These include a four-day telethon in Johnson City last week and a Drive-In and Donate fundraiser in Southeast Tennessee at participating Wal-Mart Stores and Ross’s Landing in Downtown Chattanooga.
“Disasters like Superstorm Sandy devastate communities,” said Regional Development Officer Lori Marsh. “Donations ensure the American Red Cross can provide warm meals, shelter and hope to families when they need it most.
“Anyone unable to drop off contributions may visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS, with all financial donations benefitting the Red Cross Disaster Relief response to Hurricane Sandy. Currently, close to 50 East Tennessee volunteers have joined almost 4,000 Red Cross disaster responders assigned to the operations on the Atlantic Seaboard.”
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or phone or visit the American Red Cross East Tennessee Region office, 6921 Middlebrook Pike, Knoxville, TN 37909 (865) 584-2999.