Red Cross official: Despite changes, still serving families

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2015


The Red Cross has responded to more than 30 house fires in Covington County this year.

A year after it was announced that the local chapter of the American Red Cross was among those affected by the state Red Cross’s plan to consolidate 18 chapters to six and adopt new names for them, officials say the chapter is still making a difference in the county.

Mike Brown, executive director of the Mobile-based South Alabama Chapter, said Tuesday that the organization has responded to 33 families in Covington County who were in need of disaster assistance following fires.

“We give them water, food, toiletries and if they have children, they get teddy bears,” he said. “We give them a couple of nights in a hotel room and a client assistance card to help them get what they need.”

Brown announced earlier this year that the chapter would not hold the annual Taste of Covington County event, which was the primary fundraiser of the local organization, citing it wasn’t feasible to do the event.

Since the merger, volunteers have staffed the Andalusia office.

“We are in the process of rebuilding the Red Cross volunteer structure in Covington County and are on pace to respond to many more fires than last year,” he said.