invisible hit counter
Program brings focus on community
When families are homeless after a fire, just reaching a basic level of living can be a struggle.

For those victims, shelter, food and clothing can be the most obvious immediate needs after losing a home, but families can be distracted from focusing on what's important.

That's where the American Red Cross of Southeastern Coastal Georgia in Brunswick comes in with its disaster services program, funded largely by the United Way of Coastal Georgia.

Donna Davis, executive director of the local Red Cross, said apart from blood drives and collection services, the Red Cross Disaster Services program has a large impact on the community.

"We always see an increase in fires in the winter time," Davis said. "People tend to use space heaters in the winter, and it turns out sometimes they are not safe and cause fires."

The Red Cross provides the families and victims with the basics so they can focus on rebuilding their lives.

Davis said an average of $5,000 is spent each month providing shelter, food and clothing for victims of fire and other disasters.

"For those who don't have a place to stay (after a fire or other disaster), we put them in a hotel for three days, along with providing food and clothing," Davis said. "We then assess what the need is and try to help them from there."

The Red Cross also provides water and snacks to police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel in situations where their presence on the scene spans hours.

"In situations of wild fires or search and rescues, we're there to keep them healthy," Davis said.

Missy Neu, United Way of Coastal Georgia president and chief executive officer, says the Red Cross helps families through an unpredictable time of devastation.

"The Red Cross is a go-to for help with a large natural disaster, but the work they do here locally is so important," Neu said. "No one is ever prepared for something like a fire... and so many don't have resources."

The Red Cross' involvement makes a difference in the lives of families who've lost belongings and their homes.

"The work is important to get people and families back on track and back to normal," Neu said.


United Way of Coastal Georgia's annual campaign ends in January. The organization hopes to fund 29 programs, including the Red Cross, with the $1.2 million it hopes to raise. To donate to the United Way of Coastal Georgia's annual campaign, call the local office at 265-1850

View Full Site