United Way of Iredell County Partner Agency Spotlight: American Red Cross

ADDRESS: 122 Backstretch Lane, Suite 101, Mooresville, NC 28117
PHONE: 704-376-1661
EMAIL ADDRESS: Allison.taylor@redcross.org
WEBSITE: www.redcross.org/greater-carolinas

Executive Director: Allison Taylor
Board Chair: Bill Griffin

Number of Employees: 48 (American Red Cross Greater Carolinas Region)

Description of Services: Immediately after a disaster occurs in Iredell County, trained local Red Cross volunteers serving on our Disaster Action Team connect with families to provide compassionate care and assistance to ensure they have their disaster-caused basic needs met. We provide immediate financial assistance that survivors can use for lodging, clothing, food and other necessities. We also provide direct access to health and mental health care, and we help replace lost prescription medicine and medical devices. After meeting immediate needs, we then provide one-on-one casework, offering support, advocacy and community referrals to help guide survivors toward longer-term recovery.
Additionally, before a disaster even strikes, we work proactively to save lives, reduce injuries, and strengthen communities through readiness and preparedness, with a specific focus on vulnerable and at-risk populations. We offer free, community education courses to children and families to help the community prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters. And through our Home Fire Campaign, we install lifesaving smoke alarms in homes most vulnerable to home fires and provide fire safety training for free.

Number of clients served in last year: In United Way of Iredell County’s service area last year, we served a total of 172 individuals. We responded to 26 disasters, ranging from home fires to severe storms, helping 28 families and 93 individuals. Additionally, we installed 58 lifesaving smoke alarms, making 79 people and 48 homes safer from home fires.

What is the best way for someone to contact your agency to access services? Our Disaster Cycle Services program serves all residents who need assistance after suffering from a verified disaster, regardless of age, race, gender, income level, or any other factor. There is not an application process, and all our services are free of charge. Thanks to close working relationships with local fire departments and emergency management, most of our disaster clients are referred to us by first responders immediately after the disaster occurs. If someone is interested in attending a preparedness course or having a smoke alarm installed in their home, they can contact their local Red Cross office for more information.

Describe the role that volunteers play in your agency: Volunteers carry out 90 percent of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. Whether helping displaced families or teaching others how to respond in emergencies, our vital work is only possible because of our volunteers. Volunteers serve in many capacities including, but not limited to, disaster response, client casework, mental health casework, administrative data entry, disaster volunteer training and education, shelter operations, and mass feeding operations.

What is the best way for someone to get involved with your agency: For more information on local volunteer opportunities and to sign up, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer.

Budget for Current Fiscal Year: $3,553,997 (This is the operating budget for the American Red Cross Charlotte Metro Chapter, which serves six counties, including Iredell.)

United Way Funding for Current Fiscal Year: $6,000

We do not have any major annual events in Iredell County. However, throughout the year we do hold smoke alarm installation events where volunteers and partners make vulnerable households safer from home fires by installing free smoke alarms, changing batteries, and helping families make home fire escape plans. Each spring the Red Cross rallies volunteers for a nationwide canvassing event called Sound the Alarm, with signature cities in each region changing every year.

We do not have any major fundraisers in Iredell County outside of our regular fundraising efforts, which include direct mail, email campaigns, and outreach to individual, corporate and foundation donors.