They provide immediate relief from disasters like fires and tornados for 12 counties. But now, the South Plains Chapter of the American Red Cross in Lubbock must serve an additional three counties.
Officials cite financial problems have forced the Red Cross to close its satellite office in Plainview. "It always comes back to money, it's just not fiscally sound, it's not prudent with our donor dollars to continue operations that are not cost effective," explains Greg Bruce Chairman of the South Plains Regional Chapter of the Red Cross based in Lubbock.
|Lubbock Red Cross|
He says the chapter opened the office in the mid-90's when Plainview lost its charter. "Over time things have changed, the number of clients we have served decreased and the number of folks we were able to provide safety training for decreased," says Bruce.
According to Bruce, In 2004, the Plainview office served 20 local people, a drop of more than half from 2003. Tammy Coleman, former manager of the Plainview office, says it's those that the Red Cross helped in the Plainview area that will see the affects. "There's no way they can provide the services in our region to the quality and quantity from that far away," she says
But Bruce says the Plainview area will continue to receive support from the Red Cross and it's up to the community to keep it going. "If they want to make sure that the Red Cross is here, they need to support us with their time and their money," says Bruce.
On a positive note, Bruce says Plainview's United Way will now have the ability to contribute to other organizations in the absence of the Red Cross office in Plainview.
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Making a Kit for an Emergency Situation