Disasters are always personal. They're personal for the people who wade through what's left of their belongings or mourn those they've lost. They're personal for the volunteers who respond to those in need, and they're personal for those on the sidelines who wonder why something so horrible could have happened to so many.
As homes, businesses, and towns were literally blown and washed away one year ago, we know that the face of many communities in northeast Iowa will never look the same. However, there is one thing that will remain the same: your local Red Cross is ready to respond. During the 2008 tornado and flood response in Iowa, the Red Cross: opened 36 shelters; provided financial assistance to 17,700 people; served over 756,000 meals and snacks; and distributed over 176,000 items such as gloves, masks, and shovels.
We couldn't do our work without the generosity of our donors individuals, foundations, and businesses. When we step up, we change lives, including our own. It took thousands of Red Cross volunteers from our communities and across the country to respond to last summer's need.
We do not know what future disasters or emergencies lay ahead, but we are here. Your Red Cross is ready and willing to persist in preparing our communities and ensuring that individuals, families, and businesses are ready for any situation. Because of your willingness to extend a helping hand, the Red Cross is able to turn compassion into action. Thank you!
Chairman, Board of Directors
American Red Cross Hawkeye Chapter