Red Cross Exec Headed For 'Sandy' Relief Zone

Cindy Erickson, the CEO of the American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region leaves for New York Saturday.

One day after Congress passed a $9.7 billion dollar 'Sandy' relief bill that had been the subject of criticism by east coast lawmakers the head of the St. Louis chapter of the American Red Cross will be en route to the New York area impacted by the superstorm Saturday as part of the organization's longer-term recovery efforts.

According to a news release, Cindy Erickson "could serve in the areas of community partnerships and government operations in the region."

The Red Cross has also been criticized in the wake of the storm. In the immediate aftermath, one Staten Island official called for people to stop donating to the Red Cross because of a lack of supplies brought to the region. A Yahoo! News blog reported that through mid-December, after bringing in $188 million in Sandy donations, the agency still had $78 million unspent.

Friday afternoon, the St. Louis chapter released the following statement in response to Patch inquiries about the nature of the response by the larger organization, which did include the deployment of more than three dozen St. Louis area volunteers.

Sandy is a major disaster, and one the Red Cross will be working with for some time. So far, more than 16,000 trained Red Cross workers have been deployed to the East Coast to help the hundreds of thousands affected. Considering that Sandy hit an area comparable to the size of Europe, this response requires our trained staff and volunteers to work shifts of various lengths of time in many areas. Now, in this disaster cycle, the Red Cross has moved from the response to recovery phase. Cindy Erickson is privileged to be a part of the recovery efforts.

Currently, the Red Cross is working on recovery plans for the areas most affected. Partnering with FEMA, government and community agencies, the Red Cross is working to develop a comprehensive strategy to help those devastated by Sandy. The Red Cross has a nationwide network of experienced volunteers to execute these recovery plans.  The organization is using donations entrusted to us in the most efficient fashion, so we are able to meet the remaining needs of those struggling to recover.




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