MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Thanks to the River Region community, the WSFA 12 News Disaster Relief Drive has raised over $32,000 for the American Red Cross as of Thursday. The Red Cross expects that number to grow due to other donations made at their office.
The Red Cross is collaborating with the National Guard and Emergency Management Agency to help the victims of historic flooding in South Carolina. The funds raised through the relief drive will help those efforts.
"People have lost everything. They need food, they need clothing, they need shoes, they need jackets, they need tarps if their house is livable," said nine-year American Red Cross Volunteer, Martha Poole.
Poole has traveled to Kentucky, New Jersey, Dallas and New York, and knows firsthand the devastation Mother Nature can cause, and how far donations to the Red Cross can go.
"It takes a lot to fuel the vehicles to take the supplies out," Poole said.
Volunteers staffed the phone bank at WSFA 12 News' studios all day Wednesday, taking donations from all over the area.
Several Montgomery-area businesses made $2,000 and $2,500 donations. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange donated and challenged other mayors in the area to donate. The mayors of Prattville, Pike Road, Wetumpka, and Millbrook all answered the challenge and made donations.
"We had a lot of $1000 gifts come through, we're so excited we had all our mayors in the River Region come through and make a donation. Mayor Todd Strange kicked that off for us and we're so excited to have his support," said Kelly Hodges, American Red Cross, Central Alabama Executive Director. Several area businesses called in $2,500, and $2,000 donations and Mayors from Montgomery, Prattville, Pike Road, Wetumpka, and Millbrook all answered Mayor Strange's challenge."
"It could happen to any of us, as a matter of fact three years ago, we had tornado damage [in Tuscaloosa]. The world reached out to us to helped us. I'm just glad to be a part of making an appeal that we as good neighbors, the giving heart we have in central Alabama, that we would make that pledge that we could help those citizens that need the help in South Carolina," said Mayor Todd Strange.
You can still donate. Anyone wanting to specifically contribute to the disaster relief fund for the flood victims in four states should put "Fall Floods" in the subject line of their check. The checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross and need to be mailed to 5015 Woods Crossing Drive Montgomery, AL 36106.
You can also donate online at www.redcross.org.