Thank you Southern Maryland for the time, money and blood that you donated to the American Red Cross this year. These precious commodities are what fuel the mission of our organization and strengthen our ability to help families recover from disaster and other emergencies.
It was a record year for disasters in 2005. We had the biggest international disaster response and the largest domestic disaster response. Our 824 Red Cross units around the country responded to the largest number of total disasters in the history of the organization, some 73,000.
The Southern Maryland responded locally to more than 50 fires and other disasters, sent over 50 volunteers to the Gulf States to help with the hurricane relief effort, and provided food and shelter to over 300 evacuees who fled their damaged homes and sought comfort in Southern Maryland.
This was also a record year for generosity, with Americans donating more than over $2.5 billion to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and the International Response Fund. People in Southern Maryland donated over $1,800,000 to these funds, and sent a powerful message: that people in Southern Maryland care.
With this record year of disasters and generosity comes another message, that the Red Cross is only as strong as our weakest Chapter. Monies sent to help cover the large-scale relief efforts cannot be used for any other purpose. For this reason, we ask all Americans to dig a little deeper this holiday season and reconnect with your local Red Cross chapter.
Give your time, give your money, and give your blood to the Red Cross in Southern Maryland to ensure a robust Red Cross chapter in your community and a robust Red Cross disaster response network in our nation.
When you help the Red Cross, you help America.
Interim President and CEO
Southern Maryland Chapter CEO