Red Cross gets $8,000 grant

Published 9:51 pm Friday, December 18, 2009

One Suffolk-based trust is making a local charity’s Christmas.

The Birdsong Trust granted $8,000 to the Suffolk chapter of American Red Cross to pay for a trailer and supplies to set up emergency shelters.

“This is huge for us,” said Ashley Greene, Development Director at Suffolk’s Red Cross. “It will help us be there a lot faster when the public needs us.”

Birdsong Trust is a local trust set up to help Suffolk needs. This year it has given close to $50,000.

The trailer will be an enclosed hitch trailer filled with supplies to set up an emergency shelter. Cots and blankets will be stored in the trailer.

“Now, if we have to set up a shelter like we did during the tornado, we just hook it up and go. It saves us a lot of manpower and time,” Greene said.

The need for equipment of this kind has been apparent since the tornado hit in 2008.

“We didn’t budget for it this year, because we just knew we couldn’t fund it, but we knew we needed it,” Greene said.

“When the tornado came through, there was a need for that type of help. If it came up again, we now know if something like that strikes again, the Red Cross will be prepared without having to just make do,” said Billy Chorey, secretary of trustees for the Birdsong Trust.

“As an emergency response human service, we work 24-7,” said Greene. “Disasters aren’t choosey about who they effect. If someone is devastated by a storm, fire or flood, we have to be there.”