To the editor:

When disasters upended lives across the country this year, volunteers from communities in Northeast Massachusetts were among the nearly 9,000 Red Cross workers helped to provide food, shelter and recovery support for people in need.

These local volunteers worked with Red Cross workers from around the nation to give care and hope for families devastated by large disasters like the California wildfires and Hurricane Dorian. Together with community partners, they addressed hundreds of thousands of people’s urgent disaster-caused needs, which included serving more than 1.1 million meals and snacks in hard-hit communities.

Year-round, more than 400 local volunteers helped our neighbors too. Here in Northeast Massachusetts, they responded day and night to help families recover from home fires, which represent most of the disasters we respond to every eight minutes in the U.S. When a family huddled together on the street as their home burned, volunteers from our community were by their sides, wrapping a blanket around their shoulders, securing a safe place for them to sleep and helping them with next steps to get back on their feet.

We’re also proud of the everyday work of our volunteers to save lives, including our national Home Fire Campaign — which recently saw the installation of its 2 millionth free smoke alarm. Since launching five years ago with partners, the campaign has saved hundreds of lives.

Locally, volunteers are in towns across Northeast Massachusetts installing free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, making households safer from the threat of home fires.

Our lifesaving mission depends on the support of dedicated volunteers and generous donors, as well as the partnership of community organizations. On behalf of those we serve, thank you. Learn more about our work, including how you can help people in need and how you can keep your family safe from crises, at https://www.redcross.org/local/massachusetts/about-us/locations/northeast-massachusetts.html

Kyle McWilliam-Lopez

Executive Director

Northeast Massachusetts Chapter of the American Red Cross

 Peabody

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