OSWEGO, NY – For 130 years, the American Red Cross has been helping neighbors down the street, across the country and around the world.
This, however, could not have been accomplished without the support of its donors.
Recently, the Central New York Chapter was given the opportunity from its donor base to invest in a new disaster response vehicle.
The $90,000 vehicle was unveiled Thursday at the Oswego branch office on West First Street.
It was purchased exclusively with donations.
The vehicle is used to provide disaster stricken individuals with a safe and comfortable shelter.
The vehicle has already received its trial by fire, Kirk Coates and Dave Webber, (team leaders) DAT volunteers, responded recently to a blaze in the Central Square – Hastings area.
The DRV is equipped with a waiting bench for clients, two to four workstations, comfort kits, a small refrigerator and more, Coates said.
“It has its own generator, heater and air conditioning,” he added. “It will be stocked with everything we need to help a family that’s suffered a fire. There is storage space for clothes, blankets, diapers, paper towels, flashlights and other supplies.”
“As we use it more, we’ll figure out what we have to have,” Webber said. “This one’s brand new so it’s not fully stocked just yet.”
The DRV has only been in Oswego for a couple weeks, according to Branch Director Danielle Hayden. The CNY Chapter received about a month ago, she added.
It will make things a lot easier for the volunteers – and the people the serve, she said.
To demonstrate its appreciation for its donors and the opportunities they provide for others, the American Red Cross of CNY held a dedication ceremony for the new vehicle from 10 a.m. to noon at the office in Oswego. Nearly three dozen people came by to check out the DRV, take a tour and visit with the staff.
Oswego Mayor Tom Gillen recently proclaimed March as Red Cross Month.
The Heroes for the American Red Cross Campaign also kicked off Thursday.
It will run through April 20.
The campaign is a grassroots fundraising effort that encourages individuals or organizations and businesses in the community to become “heroes” by raising $1,000 or more for the American Red Cross.
If you are interested in being a hero, call Hayden at 343-0967. You may also visit www.american.redcross.org/goto/HARCCNY to make a donation to the campaign.