Since 1943, the month of March has been declared “Red Cross Month” by every United States president.
To celebrate, the American Red Cross is sending its Disaster Response Vehicle (DRV) out into Central New York, and thanking its many donors.
The DRV will be busy visiting 16 counties across the state, and will make a special appearance in the village Cazenovia from 8:30 to 10 a.m. March 24 outside of the Cazenovia Public Library. All are invited to view the vehicle and meet “Manni,” the organization’s mascot.
“I am personally grateful to Mayor Wheeler and Betsy Kennedy for giving us an opportunity to introduce our new DRV to my hometown of Cazenovia on March 24. In January and February of this year alone, the volunteer team that utilizes this DRV, [which is] primarily assigned to the northern nine of our 16 counties, has responded to 45 disasters and provided 211 people with $44,012 worth of direct assistance,” said James Hastie, interim chief development officer for the American Red Cross of Central New York. “While the focus of our visit to Cazenovia is local disaster relief, it’s worth noting that we have 25 shelters open across 11 midwestern states. Some of the very same families we’re helping now were just starting to get back on their feet after the 2011 tornadoes destroyed their homes and businesses.”
The DRV differs from the National Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) in that it is designed around client comfort, instead of mass care. The DRV has private stations inside where confidential conversations may take place in order for volunteer case workers and mental health workers to best meet client needs. Red Cross ERVs are designed to respond to large disasters, with the capacity to deliver one million hot meals within 72 hours of a national disaster.