Red Cross aid to Windermere residents includes housing, monetary assistance

    The Red Cross wants to make one thing clear: victims of the Windermere fire have been helped — beyond what’s been donated to the cause.

    Dave Schrader, Director of Communications for the Southeast Pennsylvania chapter of the Red Cross, told WHYY today the organization “gave out far more than we took in” for the victims of the West Philadelphia fire.

    After word spread via a West Philly Local reader yesterday that some victims hadn’t been given assistance, Schrader said there may have been some confusion surrounding how funds are allocated.

    Because the Red Cross provides assistance before donations come in, money given to a specific cause isn’t the exact money you’re giving to a certain family.

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    When you donate $50 to the Windermere residents, that money has already been given to a family in need of essential items like clothes and food. The Red Cross also works with partner organizations to provide housing, and receives gift cards and vouchers from private businesses to distribute to disaster victims. Donations simply replenish the fund the organization has already tapped.

    Five former Windermere residents will be at a Red Cross event tonight, to share their stories of life after the fire for a preview event for the annual Red Ball.

    “We can’t replace everything they lost,” Schrader said of the people the Red Cross helps. “We help them get back on their feet.”


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