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Recent Disasters Have Stretched Some Relief Agencies During the Holidays

Photo courtesy Ozarks First

This is the time of year agencies spend a lot of time, resources, and money meeting the needs of families. However, this year, many charitable organizations have had to focus on other events as well.  

Mike Landis of Ozarks First follows-up with two area agencies:

Ethan Forhetz, national spokesperson for Convoy of Hope, said, “The way things have gone the last several years, disaster season kind of lasts year-round.” He added, “ So, we have to be prepared even in December for tornadoes like we saw in Kentucky and Tennessee.”  

Those organizations that provide disaster relief are realizing they can no longer count on the climate to stay on schedule.  Agencies like Convoy of Hope plan for tornadoes in the spring, and hurricanes in the fall. The American Red Cross plans for those types of disasters in addition to house fires in the winter.  

Angie Springs, Regional Communications Manager, American Red Cross,” explained, “It makes it very challenging. We never know what that disaster may be.” She added, “the response looks the same. The American Red Cross is there to provide immediate help and hope.” 

Organizations also count on the holidays for a boost in donations. But, the money and resources have been stretched thinner this season.

Forhetz explained,  “We have a budget just like every business and  household. We plan for certain things.  but then when disasters hit, we have to ‘blow up the budget’ and do what we can do. But, people have been great to step up and help.”

Agencies say they are thankful people are stepping up.  But, times are busy and will continue to be so.  

Springs said, “When we are seeing such devastation and unprecedented times with disasters that come through, it seems like people will dig a little deeper to step up to help those in need.”

“There is a lot of hopelessness that people feel right now.  And, the best way to do it is through products, through relief supplies that Convoy of Hope is on the ground and able to give,” stated Forhetz.

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