COLUMBUS, Ga- Southern Georgia still has a long way to go to recover from the deadly tornadoes that touched down there nearly two weeks ago. But agencies such as the Red Cross are still on-the-scene– and will be for the long haul. A new multi-agency resource center (MARC) is opening its doors in Albany today. It’s an effort to make the recovery process a little easier for storm survivors.
“What happened is today we have opened what is called a multi-agency recovery center. Several agencies that are working in tandem with the Red Cross down there, it sort of becomes a one stop shop for those affected,” says Adelaide Kirk, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of West Central Georgia.
Kirk says it’s different than FEMA’s one stop shop because this resource center is comprised primarily of community-based organizations, there to help storm victims with short term and long term needs. These needs include anything from groceries to referrals for families who don’t qualify for government assistance.
“This disaster, like most are, is bigger than any one agency,” says Kirk.
Help is still needed. While all gifts are appreciated, the best thing any of us can do for the Red Cross is give financially.
“What that allows us to do is one, be flexible, and two, be ready when it happens. Because we respond to a disaster before the first dollar is ever donated, so we’re already there, and that comes from generous donations that are already there and available that allows us to do our work. And the second thing it does, it allows us to financially purchase the things that are needed, as much as possible, from right there in the community. By doing that, we continue to feed the economic engine in the community and help them in the recovery process,” says Kirk.
And along with donations, the Red Cross says it’s always looking for new volunteers.
The new multi-agency resource center is opening Thursday, February 2, at 9 am in Albany. It’s located at 2602 Dawson Road. It will be open Monday through Fridays 9 am until 7 pm. On Saturdays, its hours run 9 am until 5 pm, and it is closed on Sundays.
If you would like to donate to Red Cross relief efforts, you can make a $10 donation by texting the word “tornado” to 90999. You can also visit the Red Cross website. The website also has more information on how you can volunteer for the Red Cross. Kirk says the Red Cross is always searching for more volunteers.
Currently, five Red Cross volunteers from Columbus are deployed to Albany. They’ve been working there for a week and a half.