CROSS LANES, W.Va – It’s been a busy year for the West Virginia Region of the American Red Cross. In just the last month they’ve responded to more than 70 house fires and helped families with everything from finding temporary shelter to putting clothes on their back.

Krista Farley, the Red Cross regional communications director, said 2013 never slowed down. From blood donations to helping those in need, it was a busy year.

File Photo

Red Cross volunteers help out during storms, floods, fires and other disasters.

“We have assisted more than 750 people who had home fires, 60 families that were impacted by flooding and storm damage and we’ve provided over $500,000, in direct financial assistance, to those families,” Farley said.

On top of the fires and floods, the Red Cross assisted more than 70 people who were trapped in the community of Madison Creek in Logan County earlier this month after a mudslide. They also helped out first responders as they dealt with the aftermath of the death of six family members in a house fire in Elkins back in October. They taught life-saving classes and supported military families while their loved ones were overseas.

Farley said they do a little bit of everything. However, it would not be possible without the men and women who volunteer.

“Our volunteers are essential,” according to Farley. “We have a very limited staff, paid staff and we have about 700 volunteers throughout the state that help us respond.”

Farley said no matter what the disaster time or place those volunteers are dedicated to helping others.

“These are volunteers going out and doing case work with [victims] and helping the families see what their next step is and how to help them, on the road to recovery, from this disaster,” explained Farley.

Heading into 2014the Red Cross is kicking off its “Heroes for Fire Victims” campaign in January. The agency is urging business and individual donors to give $1,250. That’s the average cost the Red Cross shells out helping a family recover from a house fire.

For more information, log on to www.redcross.org/wv.

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