Red Cross Donations Going a Long Way in Helping Fire Victims

The Red Cross is spending thousands of your donations to help those displaced by wildfires.

Newschannel 6 is taking a closer look at where that money is going and how they're faring since the devastation first began.

The non-profit has helped around two dozen families affected by the wildfires and on Tuesday Katrina Farmer, Executive Director for the local chapter, was sifting through paperwork for 11 families and more will come in especially from the Graham area.  Their focus is getting the help fire victims need.

Katrina Farmer remembers it like yesterday.

"We were all here on Friday two weeks ago and it was horrific.  Everybody knew that it was bad," said Farmer.

While smoke plummeted in the air the Red Cross gathered their team together ready for the unexpected, but now that things have died down since the massive wildfires the non-profit is finishing up paperwork for those seeking their help and looking for those who will need it.

"We're finding the people at their homes or in the community to make sure we find everybody that needs help," she said.

About two dozen families are under their care and at least $20,000 of donor money has
been distributed.

"It gives them a clothing allowance, an allowance for food, and a place to stay, a hotel," she said.

Joe DePlama, General Manager for the Howard Johnson says they had about eight families housed in the hotel who lost their home.  DePlama works with the Red Cross to house victims and he personally gets to meet them, often times they are distraught, and it's his job to make them feel welcome.

"We try to go out of our way to accommodate them and help them get back up on their feet," said DePlama.

Donations from water, money, and chapstick trickle in, not at the pace before, but that is expected.

"It's going to be rather expensive.  That's what we're here for, we're here to take care of people," said Farmer.

The Howard Johnson says their contract with Red Cross allows them to give those people in need of help discounts for a few days at their hotel.  Super 8 Hotel is also involved.

It has already been a devastating season so far and it's really just the start of it since we are in tornado season and hurricane season will be fast approaching.  You can donate to our local Red Cross here.