More than just a color

We’ve posted a few of these maps during the past weeks, and each time we do it breaks our heart. From the flooding in the northwest and Vermont, to the continued recovery and clean-up from the tornadoes, the American Red Cross is active across the nation providing disaster relief. And although we always want to help people, we grieve when disaster strikes.

Each spot of red on this map show where the Red Cross is helping the people and communities affected by nature’s fury. The saying goes that a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’…but in this case, even this image can’t quite capture the scale of the response on the ground.

Each spot of red on this map translates into stories of people affected by disaster, but who are receiving the assistance they need. It represents the almost 800 people who found refuge in a Red Cross shelter Tuesday night. It represents the more than 2.8 million meals and snacks given out. It represents the 260-some shelters open since March 31, and the 29,000 overnight stays in those shelters. It represents the 1.3 million relief items (like toothbrushes, shampoo and clean-up supplies) given out to help people start rebuilding their lives. It represents the 64,000 mental health and health consultations provided by trained mental health professionals and nurses. It represents the more than 12,000 volunteers — with 56 from our own local region — who have responded to the call of people in need.

So for each time see a spot of red on this map, know that it means so much more than just a color. It means people helping people during their time of greatest need.

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