Red Cross Seeking Donations in Face of Funding Shortfall - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Red Cross Seeking Donations in Face of Funding Shortfall

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The agency that bails out people in need needs some help of its own.

When a fire destroys a home, the Red Cross often steps in to help families with no place to stay. But the nonprofit says an uptick in fires across the region is putting a big dent in its displacement fund.

The Red Cross makes it clear, financial challenge or not, it's going to take care of people. Nothing is going to change in terms of service, but it is falling $240,000 short of what it needs.

Since October, the Virginia Mountain region of the Red Cross has responded to 168 house fires, providing clothing, food and shelter to more than 925 people. The Central Virginia chapter has assisted about 65 to 70 people. That is why the Red Cross has developed the "Hope is Fireproof" campaign, asking the public to contribute donations.

The Red Cross says, not only has there been an increase in fires, but they also seem to be more severe.

"We're seeing multi-generational families in the same domicile, residence, so when there's a fire, we have seen families in upwards of six, eight, even 10 people at a time,” said Nick Drauschak, disaster services manager for the Central Virginia chapter of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross is also focusing on prevention and preparedness. On April 5, the nonprofit will hold a canvassing event where they will go door-to-door with information about fire insurance.

The Red Cross is accepting donations online or in-person at 1105 Rose Hill Drive in Charlottesville. You can also call 434-979-7143 for more information.

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