Red Cross issues urgent call for volunteers, donations to help ongoing crisis from Matthew

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The American Red Cross has mobilized a massive response effort spanning four states, but according to the organization, it’s only the beginning.

On Tuesday evening, nearly 4,500 people were still seeking refuge in 77 Red Cross and community shelters across the southeast.

The Red Cross said that since Hurricane Matthew first threatened the U.S., the organization and community partners have served thousands of meals and snacks, and provided more than 70,000 overnight stays in shelters. That’s more overnight stays than after Superstorm Sandy, according to the Red Cross.

The Red Cross is providing food, shelter, comfort, emotional support and health services to help people cope with this devastation, as many families have lost everything as a result of Hurricane Matthew and its torrential flooding.

Hurricane Matthew also forced the cancellation of 95 Red Cross blood drives in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, resulting in nearly 3,000 blood and platelet donations going uncollected. The Red Cross says blood and platelet donations are urgently needed.

The Red Cross also says they depend on donations to provide immediate relief.

To help those affected by Hurricane Matthew visit here, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

The Red Cross is also asking eligible individuals in parts of the country unaffected by the storm to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets as soon as possible. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting here or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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