Thank You

October 27, 2008

This is the final post for the Hurricane Ike Online Newsroom. While this is the last post, the recovery and relief efforts will continue. We would like to thank the hard working Red Crossers in the field who made this disaster operation, as well as this website, successful. To all those in the affected areas, we wish you a swift and complete recovery.

National media contacts: Please contact (202) 303-5551 for additional public affairs information.

Local media contacts: Please contact your local chapter for additional public affairs information.

For Red Cross assistance or for any other inquiries, please contact 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Postcard from the Field: Eric Sanchez lends an “Amazing” hand

October 27, 2008

Eric Sanchez helps with cot cleanup in Texas

American Red Cross volunteer Debbie Kemp of the Washtenaw County Chapter in Ann Arbor (MI), and Eric Sanchez work together on cleaning and packing up cots that were used in the megashelter in Houston which housed as many as 1,200 Hurricane Ike evacuees. Sanchez, who won the Season 11 “All Star Amazing Race,” and several contestants from the reality television shows “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” and “Amazing Race” were on hand Sunday (October 26) to help with cot cleanup. In times of disaster, the American Red Cross provides food, shelter, disaster health and mental health services, bulk distribution of home and health products, and advocacy and referral services.

Release: Houston, Texas 10.22.08

October 22, 2008


HOUSTON, TX, October 22, 2008 – As residents displaced by Hurricane Ike find alternative or more permanent housing, the shelter at the Lee High School Annex managed by the American Red Cross plans to close on Friday, October 24, 2008 at 5 p.m.

Suzy Davidson, director of the American Red Cross Hurricane Ike relief operation that includes the Baytown shelter, said: “Nothing has changed in our commitment to meeting personal and family needs. Post Hurricane Ike, we remain focused on helping displaced families plan their recovery.” Red Cross Advocacy and Referral workers have and continue to make resources available to disaster victims through the many agencies partnering with us. “We are grateful to our Red Cross volunteers and those from our partner agencies who have been instrumental in providing food, shelter, comfort and assistance,” Davidson said.

At the peak of the disaster, Baytown had shelters at Wooster Baptist Church with 137 residents and Memorial Baptist Church with 87 residents. Last week, Lee High School had 42 shelter residents. Earlier this month, the City of Baytown awarded the American Red Cross and the Southern Baptist Convention with keys to the City in appreciation for their assistance to residents displaced by Hurricane Ike.

Media Contact:

  • C.A. Burke (571) 918-5364

Release: Carlson Hotels 10.3.08

October 20, 2008

Carlson Hotels Worldwide Partners with the American Red Cross in Texas to Provide Relief for Children Affected by Hurricane Ike
More Than 4,300 Activity Bags Donated to Area Youth in Houston and San Antonio

Read the press release…

Release: Houston, Texas 10.19.08

October 20, 2008

American Red Cross Collaborates With Community Agencies to Help Disaster Victims on Road to Hurricane Recovery

HOUSTON, TEXAS, October 19, 2008 – With almost a month since Hurricane Ike demolished communities along the Texas Gulf Coast, American Red Cross advocacy and referral teams are working with community agencies to help residents displaced by the disaster get back on their feet and move forward in their recovery. “We are actively assisting families as they look to find more permanent housing,” said Suzy Davidson, director of American Red Cross relief operations in Texas. The healing process for a family depends on accessing the right resources for additional assistance in the community so that the needs of each family member are met. “We are doing our best to ensure those impacted by Hurricane Ike see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Davidson.

In Texas, more than 182,000 residents sought temporary shelter in as many as 280 shelters where American Red Cross volunteers served over 8 million meals and snacks. The American Red Cross has established partnerships with community agencies and local churches in providing services to survivors of Hurricane Ike.

As the American Red Cross continues to meet the needs of disaster victims, the cost of providing disaster relief has rapidly outpaced contributions to the organization. “The Red Cross is a partner agency in your community assisting those in need during times of emergency, and we rely on the generosity of our donors to enable the Red Cross to provide help whenever and wherever disasters occur,” said Davidson.

Media Contact:

  • C.A. Burke (571) 918-5364

Photo: New Toys for shelter residents in Houston, Texas

October 17, 2008

This photo is available for distribution. Please click the photo for caption and courtesy information:

New Toys for shelter residents, Houston, Texas

Release: Chisholm Trail Chapter 10.14.08

October 15, 2008

Benefit Concert at Billy Bob’s Texas Raises $14,000 for Red Cross Disaster Relief

FORT WORTH, TX (October 14, 2008) – Thousands of fans and supporters of the American Red Cross turned out on Wednesday, October 8, at Billy Bob’s Texas to support the Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund and had some fun in the process. A celebration of KSCS The Big 96.3 Dorsey Gang’s 5,000th show grew into a benefit concert with performances by Lee Ann Womack, Lee Brice, Randy Hauser and Jamey Johnson, and featured Pat Green. Between box office ticket sales, auction items, merchandise sales and cash collections, $14,000 was raised for disaster relief.

Pat Green is a Fort Worth resident and member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet. The three-time Grammy nominee was honored by the Red Cross in 2007 with the Crystal Cross award for his service to the organization. He understands the importance of giving back.

“Most of us have family or friends who were impacted by Hurricane Ike, so when the American Red Cross and KSCS asked if I could help, I was happy to jump in and do whatever I could,” Green said.

The American Red Cross has launched a $100 million fundraising campaign nationwide to cover the costs of massive relief efforts in response to a record-setting year of large-scale disasters. With half of hurricane season still left, the need for financial donations is great. The DFW Metroplex served as a temporary home to residents displaced by Hurricane Ike, with thousands of people seeking refuge in area Red Cross shelters.

“When people need help during disasters, they turn to the Red Cross. The Red Cross can always turn to Pat Green for his support of our work. He’s been a great friend to our organization and to those disaster victims who urgently need food, shelter and emotional support. I want to thank Pat for his generous support of the Disaster Relief Fund,” American National Red Cross President and CEO Gail McGovern said.

Additional Information:

Postcard from the Field: American Red Cross Day

October 15, 2008

October 6, 2008 was proclaimed to be American Red Cross Day in Baytown, TX, by Mayor Stephen DonCarlos; in recognition of the “overwhelming acts of kindness and support; and countless hours and dedication” to the Baytown community. This same recognition was awarded to the North Carolina contingent of Southern Baptists.

The super dynamic duo helped get the Baytown kitchen running and serving a record number of meals, with many accolades from clients and staff. The Baytown kitchen had served 671,000 meals as of October 8, 2008. With a combined total of 53 years with Red Cross Disaster Relief, Tony and Tony worked well together from the start and left the operation as good friends.

When presented with the award the men remarked that the award was not for their efforts, but for ALL the people who really made it happen. Describing the nickname given them by their co-workers, “The Dog and Tony Show”, the guys smiled and shook their heads. “Yeah, that’s pretty true – it just depended on which one of us was running the show!”

Postcard from the field: Duane Betz

October 13, 2008

Residents of the Houston/Galveston area have seen the work being done by the Red Cross and they want to help.

Duane Betz, Commodore of the Galveston Bay Cruising Association, stopped by the disaster relief operation headquarters recently to deliver a $1,878 donation that his group raised during a recent sailing race. The race, said Bez, “was a way to help the sailors get a feeling of a return to normalcy and to benefit all affected by the storm.”

During his visit to the relief operation headquarters, Glen Lockwood, job director, thanked Bez for the group’s efforts and provided a tour of the site.

Postcard from the Field: Josephine Smith, Client and Volunteer

October 10, 2008

The lovely lady in the hat you see assisting with mobile feeding operations is Josephine Smith, 83 years young. Josephine was born in Chambers County, Texas and has called Anahuac her home for more than 82 years.

Hurricane Ike brought Josephine to the Red Cross as a client, and she soon became a volunteer. “I have lived in Chambers County my whole life; I know ALL these people, I just had to help my friends.” Josephine feels blessed to have survived and to be able to give back.