California Wildfires; Red Cross, Partners Feeding Hundreds a Day


“This is my paycheck,” American Red Cross volunteer Bill Frazer says proudly as he looks at a handmade thank you card from one of the students from a local school. The card itself is quite detailed with a decorative envelope.

Frazer, a volunteer with the Greater Los Angeles Red Cross chapter, is coordinating the mass care efforts for the wildfire relief effort in California. His right hand man on this disaster relief effort is Chuck Erikson, a fellow Red Crosser with the Orange County, CA chapter, who is also the Associate Disaster Relief Director for the California Southern Baptist Convention. Frazer, Erikson and their Salvation Army colleagues opened their kitchen site on Sunday, November 20 at the First Presbyterian Church and Weekday School in Northridge, CA. This “partnership” kitchen has been used by Red Cross and the Southern Baptists on many disaster relief efforts across the country. It has the capacity to serve 20,000 meals a day, and today served 400 meals for breakfast and 550 for lunch.

When the meals are ready, Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles (ERVs) deliver them to the Red Cross shelter at Sylmar High School as well as to the site of one of the devastating wildfires, Oakridge Mobile Home Park. Along with meals, Red Cross volunteers have a special delivery of notes and cards from Sara and the other students at the First Presbyterian Weekday School in Northridge.

Much like the disaster relief workers, the students have been hard at work, even after school – many of them crafting letters and cards for those affected by the wildfires as well as for Red Cross volunteers. Mary Lou Pennington, Director of the First Presbyterian Weekday School, is very proud of their efforts. “Our students want to give back – they are concerned for the families and the volunteers,” she said.

All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, disasters like the Wildfires, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to victims of disaster. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation. Call 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P. O. Box 37243, Washington, DC20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting http://www.redcross.org

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