Arkansas chapters receiving grants include:
* American Red Cross of Greater Arkansas (Little Rock)
* North Central Arkansas Chapter (Searcy)
* Northeast Arkansas Chapter (Blytheville)
* Northwest Arkansas Chapter (Tontitown)
* Southeast Arkansas Chapter (Pine Bluff)
128 Red Cross chapters across the country were awarded funds as part of the Wal-Mart Foundation’s initiative to support disaster response and capacity building projects nationwide.
“The equipment and supplies purchased with this grant provides us with a solid foundation for a large scale or catastrophic disaster response such as a tornado or earthquake,” said American Red Cross State Disaster Lead Officer, Roger Elliot.
Eleven 16 foot disaster response trailers equipped with jumbo and special need cots, blankets and comfort kits with personal toiletry items inside, have been ordered with the grant funding. Laptop computers used by disaster teams will also be purchased to speed the sharing of information between the field and chapter offices on emergency needs.
“The trailers and laptops have been on the top of our need wish list, but with local funding prioritized for response to daily disasters such as residential fires, such items seemed unattainable anytime soon. We can’t say enough about the good for Arkansas and efficiencies for our Red Cross workers these grants will provide,” said Elliot.
The Wal-Mart Foundation partnered with the American Red Cross to create a $5 million Disaster Readiness and Capacity Building Grant Program. This grant will benefit communities across the country that reside near Red Cross chapters located in remote areas that often become isolated during times of disaster and whose chartered jurisdictions serve less than one million people – like all of the Arkansas chapters.
“At Wal-Mart, helping communities is what we do every day. And when a crisis strikes, that charge becomes an even greater priority,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. “Our long-standing support of the American Red Cross is evidence of our commitment to supporting local disaster relief efforts. We are hopeful that the $5 million we have given to local Red Cross chapters across the country will result in the swift, effective response to disasters, and the development of resources before disaster strikes.”
The Wal-Mart Foundation stands ready to help and to work with local leaders, community organizations and elected officials in the instance of a disaster. With a long-standing commitment to supporting local disaster relief efforts, the Wal-Mart Foundation works with the American Red Cross and other organizations in an effort to help its neighbors and communities during times of need.
“We are appreciative to the Wal-Mart Foundation for this much needed grant to enhance our local chapters’ ability to serve their communities,” said Michael Brown, Vice President of Corporate and Foundation Partnerships at the American Red Cross. “Because of their generous support, we will be better positioned to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters in communities across the country."
Arkansas' American Red Cross Chapters shelter, feed and counsel victims of weather related and man-made disasters; teach lifesaving skills; and support military members and their families across the state.
Chapter locations include Arkadelphia, Blytheville, El Dorado, Hot Springs, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Searcy and Tontitown.