Tag Archives: volunteers

Thousands Participate In Chicago River Cleanup

CHICAGO (CBS) — Around 2,000 volunteers went to 70 sites near the Chicago River to help out in the annual spring cleanup effort. They removed plastic, cans, tires and other garbage from the river. “The Chicago River system has improved dramatically thanks, in part, to volunteers such as those who turned out today,” said Margaret Frisbie, Executive Director of Friends of the Chicago River. “As water quality improves and work is done on land restoration, more and more people are coming to appreciate this natural treasure.”
1 Thousands Participate In Chicago River Cleanup

Volunteers at Ping Tom Park, 1700 S. Wentworth Ave. (Credit: Friends of the Chicago River)


Red Cross Busy Assisting With Multiple Fires Across Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Volunteers with the Red Cross in the Chicago area are stretched a little thin assisting displaced people at fires. The volunteers, said disaster team leader Ron Leffler, have been at more than a dozen fires in the area over the past few days. Most, he said, have been caused by improper use of space heaters. He said they are either placed too close to bedding and other flammable material or they are being used with extension cords that aren’t rated for space heaters. Leffler became a disaster team leader after 25 years as a firefighter. “You get the hugs when you are wrapping them up in their blankets because they have nothing left. You went to bed knowing you are in a safe, secure zone inside of your home, you wake up to a fire, you have nothing than what is on your back,” he said. He said they get a lot of gratitude at the fire scenes and with the assistance they provide after the fires are put out, helping people get back on their feet. People are lost and devastated, he said. And the Red Cross stays with them for as long as it takes. The disaster relief agency has a program called “Moving Forward” for after the initial shock of the fire, helping with everything from housing to clothing to medicine that may have been lost in a fire. “We’re on the comfort side,” he said. When asked when he sleeps – Leffler said, “we don’t. When everyone else is asleep, we’re responding to fires.” He was at two in Chicago overnight and was still working the volunteer job Thursday afternoon.

How To Help The Victims Of Hurricane Harvey

(CBS) — Hurricane Harvey has left neighborhoods under water and the rain is expected to continue in Southeast Texas. The hurricane reached land late Friday as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 130 mph. The storm was later downgraded to a Tropical Storm, but Harvey remains a powerful and slow-moving. Some parts of Southeast Texas could see up to 50 inches of rain by the time the storm moves out, which may not be until Friday. Two-thousand people have been rescued from their cars and homes, but so many are still waiting for help. Another thousand National Guard members were sent Monday to help, adding to the 3,000 already there. Shelters are packed with people who have lost everything. Here are some ways that you can assist victims of the storm: American Red Cross The American Red Cross, the largest humanitarian organization in the world, is actively seeking donations of food and money to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. They have already sent enough pallets of water and ready-to-eat meals to supply 28,000 people and the amount to feed an additional 20,000 people is already on the way. But more of course is needed. “We are doing is mobilizing our volunteer force. Our volunteers who live and work in Chicago are going down. We’ve already sent more than a dozen as well as our emergency response vehicle. They are already on the ground. They are already working in shelters for people who have evacuated the affected areas,” said American Red Cross Disaster Program Director, Harley Jones. The American Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can visit redcross.org. The organization is also looking for financial donations. The organization is offering a variety of ways for people to donate. You can call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation for those in need.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, the disaster relief arm of the Protestant charitable organization, is accepting monetary donations to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. Salvation Army disaster workers from six states, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee have headed to Texas to help. They have provided food, water, clothing, cleaning supplies and recovery support to victims. “As Hurricane Harvey causes widespread damage across Texas, The Salvation Army is ready to provide physical, emotional and spiritual care to survivors and relief workers. Salvation Army disaster teams from across the country are mobilizing and, even after disaster response efforts are over, The Salvation Army will remain in communities impacted by this terrible storm, supporting long-term disaster recovery efforts and providing ongoing assistance to those in need,” the website reads. You can donate by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, texting STORM to 51555, sending a donation through the mail or online at helpsalvationarmy.com.

Samaritan’s Purse Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world, is accepting donations to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The organization sent their disaster relief units to Texas to help residents struggling with rain, flooding, and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. “My heart continues to be heavy for the good people of South Texas as they begin to deal with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey—and the flood waters are still rising in many areas,” said Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse president. “We have pre-positioned Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief trucks and materials outside Dallas and will be moving into the hardest hit areas as soon as we are given the all-clear by the state authorities. We hope that over the next few months there will be thousands of volunteers who will want to come and help those whose homes have been damaged by this destructive storm.” You can donate online or sign up to volunteer.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief meets the urgent needs of communities in crisis, from serving food to volunteers in rebuilding communities. “Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) teams began responding before Hurricane Harvey made landfall, deploying hundreds of crisis buckets and sending other supplies that would be needed in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Now we have been asked to assist in the care of up to 60,000 displaced Texans in addition to preparing thousands of hot meals and performing mud-out, chainsaw and cleaning services to restore survivors’ homes,” the website reads. “Any donation will equip our volunteers to operate units and provide hot showers, fresh laundry, homemade meals and a kind face to confide in.” You can help by donating online or by texting SENDRELIEF to 41444 to aid the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Heart To Heart International Heart to Heart Inernational, a humanitarian organization that provides crisis relief worldwide, is seeking donations to help victims of Hurricane Harvey. “Heart to Heart International’s Disaster Response Team first stop was Belton Texas Expo Center to drop off hygiene and health kits. The Expo and Bell County Sheriff’s Department have set up a response center to help those that evacuated from Hurricane Harvey and needed assistance. HHI’s timing was perfect because the county was about to go buy hygiene kits for their guests,” the website reads. “The DRT team is now located in Corpus Christi, Texas. HHI and Convoy of Hope have teamed up to supply much-needed water, supplies, hygiene/health kits and minor medical care/Tetanus shots.” You can donate and support their efforts online.

Save The Children Save the Children, helps children every day and in times of crisis in transforming their lives and the future we share. They have set up a fund to help the children affected by Hurricane Harvey. You can donate here. Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County – Provides shelter and resources for the homeless of Houston and surrounding areas. Texas Diaper Bank – Provides diapers to those in need. The local chapter is putting together disaster relief kits for families with young children. Portlight – a disaster response organization specifically serving individuals with disabilities. “We need your help!! The flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey will leave many people stranded and already our Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies Disability Hotline (800) 626-4959 is receiving urgent requests for assistance for people with disabilities and older adults. We’re rallying stakeholders and working together to help get people to safety, and providing for any immediate needs they may have for durable medical equipment and other assistive technology, responding to evacuation and sheltering issues and problem-solving for a variety of immediate disability accessibility issues,” a Portlight announcement reads. Food banks throughout Texas are also accepting donations for people affected by the storm. You can donate money to Feeding Texas, a network of the state’s food banks. Or visit specific food banks’ websites, such as, The Galveston Food Bank, Food Bank Of Corpus Christi, or Houston Food Bank. Animal shelters and rescue groups are taking in numerous pets displaced by the storm. Those groups include the SPCA of Texas, Austin Pets Alive!, Dallas Animal Services and the San Antonio Humane Society.
A number of online fundraising sites have also been set up to help victims. GoFundMe has compiled all Hurricane Harvey pages in one location here. Blood centers expect a supply shortage because of the closure of some blood banks along the Texas coast. Centers have put out calls for extra donors to help. South Texas Blood & Tissue Center placed a slide on its website ahead of the storm and is continues to seek donations. If you’re not in Texas, you can search online for blood drives local to you or book an appointment via Red Cross