City helping collect cash donations for Hurricane Sandy victims
While photos and video of widespread damage to the East Coast and mid-Atlantic from Hurricane Sandy continue to circulate, the city of Yuma is stepping up to provide a conduit for donations to make their way quickly to storm victims.
Hurricane Sandy has left a path of devastation across the country's most densely populated region since making landfall near Atlantic City on Monday night. As of Wednesday afternoon, 6.4 million people still did not have power and 9,237 people were in shelters across 13 states, said Brian Gomez, communications specialist with the American Red Cross, Grand Canyon Chapter.
“Watching the images of the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy has been heartbreaking,” said Martha Guzman, public affairs coordinator for the city. “Many of us have family and friends on the East Coast that are living with the nightmare left behind. The city of Yuma and its employees want to send a strong message of support to our fellow Americans dealing with the aftermath.”
And so the city contacted the Yuma County Chapter of the American Red Cross to find out how it could coordinate an effort to raise money to help, Guzman said.
A collection has been set up in the lobby of City Hall, One City Plaza (at 3rd Street between 1st and Madison avenues). Visitors to City Hall can deposit cash that will be donated to the American Red Cross to assist storm victims.
In addition, the city has partnered with the Red Cross and television station KYMA to hold a fundraising drive at Yuma Palms Regional Center from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. The American Red Cross will be set up in front of the roundabout near Harkins Theater.
The city also assisted with the collection of donations by Red Cross during Wednesday evening's “Scary & Safe Trick or Treat” at the Yuma Territorial Prison.
Donations can also be made online at www.redcross.org/donate, or people can text redcross90999 for a $10 donation that will be charged to their cell phone bills, Gomez said.
“The best way people can help is through cash donations,” he said.
However, Red Cross also is encouraging organizations to step up and host blood drives. Gomez noted that to date, 325 blood drives have been cancelled because of the storm, equating to a loss of 11,000 units of blood. “Each unit can save three lives,” he said.
To schedule a blood drive in Yuma, call Andretta Schellinger at 580-8850.
“We are very blessed to be living in such a generous community,” Guzman said. “We know that together we can make a difference and send a strong message of support to the communities hardest hit by the storm.”
Joyce Lobeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6853. Find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YSJoyceLobeck or on Twitter at @YSJoyceLobeck.