Local Red Cross In Dire Need Of Help

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When a disaster strikes, the local chapter of the American Red Cross is right there to help a family in need.

"They come out on a fire side and a disaster side they're on call 24 hours a day if we get a house fire on Christmas morning somebody shows up and helps the family out," said Thomas County Emergency Management Deputy Director Lisa Griffis.

The organization helps provide families with shelter, food and clothing.

But with a busy winter filled with fires and even a tornado, the Georgia Wiregrass Chapter of the American Red Cross was nearly forced to closed its doors last week because of a lack of funding.

"We're hurting financially we're hurting with volunteers and I think it's because we haven't had any major disasters really since Katrina and so while Katrina helped us a bit people have forgotten about the Red Cross," said Executive Director Kristin Riggs.

And while the Georgia Wiregrass chapter of the American Red Cross has seen tough times over the years officials say they need the publics help now more than ever.

The local non-profit organization runs strictly on donations and receives no money from the national organization or from the government.

And that's why donations are so important in keeping the organization's doors open.

"The money stays here at home it doesn't go to administrative costs and that's the reason why I did it and hopefully other businesses will see under the same circumstances that it's a good cause," said owner of Mom and Dad's Italian Restaurant and A & G carwash, Danilo Pistelli.

Pistelli held a fundraiser at his carwash and donated the money on Tuesday to the Georgia Wiregrass chapter.

But the chapter is still in desperate need of volunteers and donations.

All money donated to the Georgia Wiregrass Chapter stays in the area to help disaster relief locally. The chapter covers Thomas, Decatur, Grady and Mitchell counties.

If you would like to donate money or volunteer, the Georgia Wiregrass Chapter of the American Red Cross is located at 115 East Washington Street in Thomasville, Georgia. The phone number is 229-226-2181.