Operation Gulf Relief Raises Funds for Red Cross

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

September 6, 2005

A big fundraising effort for Katrina is underway today right here in our area. It's called Operation Gulf Relief, and the goal is simply to reach out to those hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina.

Tens of thousands of dollars poured in for the American Red Cross, and it was all thanks to their local efforts. Whether they pulled up or walked up, all were there for the same reason-to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"People need help. This is like the worst disaster that we've ever seen," said local, Diane Horvath.

It was all part of a day-long fundraising effort: Operation Gulf Relief; to collect money for the American Red Cross. Since 7:00 a.m., Charlottesville residents stopped by the Colonial Auto Center parking lot along Route 29 to drop off either cash or checks.

"The reason we're doing just strictly cash today is because it's an immediate need situation," said organizer, Tom Powell. "It's still an on-going disaster. We're in the process of setting up the supply chains."

With that money, the Red Cross can make sure hurricane victims get at least the basic necessities.

"Financial gifts give the American Red Cross the ability to make on site decisions to get that food, shelter ,and water to those who are in need," said Lonnie Kirby with the American Red Cross.

Some who donated say they didn't even have to think twice about reaching in their pockets.

"I had do. How can you not do something? I'd love to be able to do more. It's heart wrenching to watch what's going on and this is the only thing I can do from here," said local, Betty Titterington.

It's something the Red Cross hopes others will also do. Right now the Red Cross has collected just over $29,000.

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