Red Cross responds to heavy load in 2010

When irreplaceable treasures or family pets are lost to an unexpected house fire, victims often find they are simply grateful they and their loved ones survived.

Even before the emergency vehicles leave a scene or a family considers the logistical ramifications of their loss, at least one organization stands ready to meet their immediate needs — the Capital Area Region of the American Red Cross.

The compassion of local fire personnel has been recorded; they have been known to exceed their fundamental duties to help salvage personal items at a scene.

And churches and workplaces often throw open generosity when one of their own is affected.

But through the sole support of community donations, the Red Cross is always there.

Including a Holts Summit home fire Thursday, the local chapter, which covers a 20-county area, has responded to an average of two fires per day. That pace is significantly higher than last year and this is just the beginning of “fire season.”

Assistance might be food, clothing, furniture, debit cards, or temporary hotel lodging.

Recent fires have affected large-sized families or multiple generations living together, officials said. That increases the need of assistance requested of the agency.

The local Red Cross chapter is a United Way of Central Missouri member agency and receives no taxpayer dollars to support disaster victims. All donations remain in the community in which they were received, to support local disasters.

To donate, call (573) 635-1132, stop at the regional office at 431 E. McCarty St., or visit www.redcrosscapitalarea.org.

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