International Red Cross Needs For Tsunami Relief Program Met - Southern Maryland Headline News

International Red Cross Needs For Tsunami Relief Program Met

Thanks to Generous Americans, Fundraising Efforts to Wrap-Up

Southern Maryland, Wednesday, January 26, 2005 - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies today announced that the $1.2 billion (1.4 billion Swiss francs) pledged worldwide in the 30 days since the tsunami was sufficient to meet the costs of the entire Red Cross tsunami relief program. Following the Federation's lead, the American Red Cross believes that current contributions and pledges, when received from the American public, will be sufficient to carry out its immediate and longer-term plans to assist survivors of the deadly tsunami that roared ashore December 26, 2004.

To date, approximately $1.2 billion has been given or pledged by donors to Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies around the world. Due to the generous financial contributions from public, foundation, and corporate supporters, which now amounts to $236.2 million, the American Red Cross will no longer engage in new fundraising activities for tsunami relief after January 26. Many donations remain in "pledge" form and, while not yet received by the Red Cross, have been incorporated into funds deemed available for the relief effort. It is important for supporters to fulfill their pledged gifts, including completing special events, corporate matching gifts, and customer and employee donation programs currently planned. All donations made to the American Red Cross International Response Fund between December 26, 2004 and January 31, 2005, as well as funds designated for the tsunami relief effort, will be used to support the international response to those impacted by this devastating tsunami. "Here in Southern Maryland nearly $ 35,000 was forwarded from local schools, corporations and generous individuals to support the American Red Cross International effort," Said Mike Zabko CEO of the Southern Maryland Chapter. We appreciate the support and effort of everyone that contributed in there own way for this devastating disaster," he continued.

One month ago today, a tidal wave created by the largest earthquake in four decades ripped apart the lives of millions of people and families living along the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Aid continues to pour into the affected region bringing lifesaving relief supplies and resources to tsunami victims who lost their families, homes, and livelihoods. "The American Red Cross, as part of the worldwide Red Cross movement, has witnessed one of the greatest demonstrations of compassion and support in its 124-year history," said Marsha J. Evans, President, and CEO of the American Red Cross. "We are honored and inspired that so many Americans have confidence in the American Red Cross to turn their care and compassion into action. The generous outpouring of support has enabled us to provide immediate lifesaving aid as well as prepare to provide longer-term assistance to help rebuild families and communities."

Americans time and again trust the American Red Cross with their donations, and the Red Cross is fully committed to upholding their trust. As part of its commitment to donors, the American Red Cross notifies the public when it has raised enough funds to implement comprehensive American Red Cross relief plans for a particular disaster. The overwhelming public support of the American Red Cross has been mirrored at Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world. The American Red Cross, along with the Federation, now believes there are sufficient funds to meet the overall need. Should the American Red Cross need additional resources to help the tsunami victims, we have no doubt the generous American public will step up and meet the need.

Since December 26, the American Red Cross has kept Americans informed about funds raised and how these funds are being used to provide relief. The American Red Cross will continue to keep the public informed of its relief efforts through the American Red Cross Web site and stewardship reports.

To help meet the unprecedented humanitarian needs in the wake of this catastrophic disaster, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies launched the largest emergency relief operation in its history. As a partner in the relief efforts, the American Red Cross is at work rushing much-needed relief supplies, specialized disaster relief experts, and financial assistance to the countries suffering devastation from last month's tsunami.

The American Red Cross two-phased assistance plan calls for specialized relief immediately and over the long term in these five areas:

- Food and safe water
- Healthcare and disease prevention
- Immediate family supplies
- Mental health counseling
- Disaster preparedness and prevention measures

The American Red Cross is able to keep its commitment to be there for victims whenever and wherever disasters strike because of the generosity of the American public. For more than a century, the American public has rallied behind the American Red Cross to help disaster victims across the country and around the world.
To continue supporting the American Red Cross, you can:

- Support the Southern Maryland Chapter and its broad range of lifesaving community services.

- Support the Southern Maryland chapter Disaster Relief Fund, which allows the Red Cross to provide relief during local disasters by providing food, shelter, clothing and mental health counseling to victims of disasters both large and small throughout the Southern Maryland area at a moments notice.

- Support the Southern Maryland Chapter general fund, an unrestricted funding source, that allows the American Red Cross to provide services here locally to those affected by crisis.

To make a donation to the Southern Maryland Chapter American Red Cross, please call 1-8888-276-2767, visit, or contact your local chapter at any one of the local offices.

Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross is a nationwide network of nearly 900 field units dedicated to saving lives and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1 million volunteers and 36,000 employees, the Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 70,000 disasters, trains almost 12 million people in lifesaving skills and keeps U.S. military families connected worldwide. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts at locations worldwide. Marsha J. Evans is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross.

Your local Red Cross answers the call for help through the generosity and support of the citizens of Southern Maryland. Contact the chapter if you can help. Together, we can save a life!

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