Red Cross meeting needs for those who need it most

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 19, 2005

Through the hard work of American Red Cross staff members andvolunteers and through the kindhearted donations of countlessAmericans, thousands of residents of Lincoln County and beyond werehave received a helping hand over the last week.

Residents displaced or inconvenienced by Hurricane Katrina havereceived checks ranging from $350 to $1,565, and Red Crossofficials were simply unprepared for the massive number of peopleseeking help.

Early in the week, the crowds at various locations around townnumbered in the thousands, and tensions ran high as people wholined up hours before clamored for financial assistance. The effortgot off to a tenuous start, but by week’s end – withmuch-appreciated input from area public and civic leaders –┬áthe RedCross devised a ticketing system to alleviate the crowds and serveas many residents as efficiently and quickly as possible.

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Contributing to the early problems was the sheer number ofresidents seeking financial aid. We hope that residents are showingrestraint, only applying for disaster-relief funds if they trulyneed the help and leaving the bulk of the assistance for theresidents who have suffered terrible losses – their homes, cars,jobs and so much more.

Remember, these are donated funds given by generous Americansand meant as a helping hand, not the opportunity for an unexpectedwindfall.

That said, we know there are, indeed residents of our area andcertain of points south who do truly need help, as they must beginto rebuild their lives. Organizations such as the Red Cross andothers play a vital role in this process and truly have the bestinterest of those they aim to serve in mind.