FARMINGTON, CONN., July 15, 2010 – People’s United Community Foundation has donated $25,000 to the Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross to support relief work in Bridgeport following a tornado that struck the city on June 24, damaging or destroying nearly 200 homes.
The Foundation’s Executive Director, Hank Mandel, presented a check to American Red Cross Connecticut Region CEO Dianne Auger on July 13.
“Individuals, families and businesses of Bridgeport need our help to recover from this unexpected and devastating storm,” Mandel said. In a newspaper ad running through a donation of space by Hearst Connecticut Media Group in the Connecticut Post and Stamford Advocate newspapers, Mandel issued a challenge to the community to donate another $25,000 to match the gift. “The Connecticut Red Cross works closely with state and city government, but is not a government agency and receives no government funding to do its work. The help they are providing in Bridgeport – and more than 400 other local emergency situations each year – is made possible by private donations and by the hard work of volunteers,” Mandel stated.
Dianne Auger thanked the Foundation for the gift, saying that community support is the core of the Red Cross. “We couldn’t provide the help we have offered in Bridgeport without generous donations and the work of dedicated volunteers. This truly is an example of neighbors helping neighbors to begin their recovery.”
Since the tornado struck on June 24, the Red Cross has worked with more than 500 people, providing services and support including temporary shelter; financial assistance for emergency clothing and food needs; information and referrals to city and community agencies; and emotional support.
The Red Cross operated shelters, staffed two community outreach centers and operated mobile feeding and outreach routes in the most heavily damaged area of the city. “Red Cross volunteers and staff were in the neighborhood every day with food, advice and emotional support for more than a week after the storm, and will continue working with families and the community in the days and weeks to come," Auger said.
More than 8,000 meals and snacks were provided by the Red Cross to storm victims and emergency responders in Bridgeport. Auger said the total cost of the response would likely be in the area of $110,000. “We are still adding up costs and we continue to work with families to make sure that needs are being met.”
Donations may be made online at www.ctredcross.org or by check, made payable to the American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter at 158 Brooklawn Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06604, and include a notation for “Tornado Relief Challenge.”
EDITORS NOTE: In the attached photo, Dianne Auger, left, American Red Cross Connecticut Region CEO, accepts a $25,000 donation from Hank Mandel, Executive Director, People’s United Community Foundation.