Panolian joins ‘Heroes’ fund-raiser for Red Cross
The Panolian has joined the “Heroes for the American Red Cross” campaign, pledging to raise a minimum of $1,000 during March in support of the organization’s relief efforts.
“We agreed to be a ‘Hero,’” publisher John Howell said, “recognizing that in addition to their high profile relief work following disasters like Katrina on the Gulf Coast, Sandy in New York and New Jersey, and more recently to Hattiesburg area tornado victims, the Red Cross provided over $33,000 to 146 Panola residents during 2012.”
Panola County relief was also triggered by disasters, but on a smaller scale, usually house fires, according to ARC chapter manager Jennifer Coleman of Oxford.
“When a family has a structure fire and doesn’t have anybody to turn to, the Red Cross will help with personal items, expenses and put them up in a motel for up to three days,” said Panola County Emergency Management Agency Director Daniel Cole. Cole also calls on the Red Cross for sheltering assistance following storms. “I’m much impressed with our local chapter. We are being taken care of much better that we were four or five years ago,” Cole said, following a reorganization that places Panola among 17 counties to comprise the Northwest Mississippi Chapter.
Panola County government provided $3,000 from this year’s budget to the American Red Cross, County Administrator Kelley Magee said.
The county receives five or six times that amount in direct assistance returned by Red Cross, Cole said.
For fire victims inside municipal limits, Batesville Fire Department Fire and Life Safety Officer Rip Copeland is the Red Cross contact. After he provides Red Cross with a fire report and a list of occupants, “they pretty much take it from there,” Copeland said.
“A factor in our decision to participate in the Heroes for the American Red Cross campaign is that 91 percent of the money donated to Red Cross goes directly to providing assistance,” Howell said. “That means they keep their fund-raising and administrative expense to a minimum. Your donation is used to help people,” he added.
In addition to providing relief during disasters, the American Red Cross has another mission that takes precedence even over those important jobs. Read about that mission in followup stories during March as The Panolian attempts to become a Red Cross Hero.
And donate. Visit our Heroes web site at http://american.redcross.org/goto/Panolian.com or visit the newspaper office at 363 Highway 51 North, Batesville to make your donation.