NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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Canton, Ohio (WJER) - The local Red Cross office is sending one of its own to assist those who have lost everything in the California wildfires.  

Stark and Muskingum Lakes Chapter Disaster Program Manager Tim Reichel is the first Red Cross worker from northeast Ohio going out for the relief operations. 

Regional spokesman Jim McIntyre says Reichel will be staffing one of 12 community evacuation centers that are providing food, shelter and comfort to individuals and families displaced by the fires. 

“He deployed to California so he could do his job, which is to try to ensure the safety of not only the residents who have been displaced by these fires but also of our volunteers,”

McIntyre says everyone else can help out by donating to the Red Cross. He says people can donate by visiting the Red Cross website, or by texting “cawildfires”  to 90999 to make a $10 donation that’s automatically applied to their cell phone bills.   

“It’s really important that people understand our mission, which is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and we certainly have an emergency in California,” he says.

McIntyre says the Red Cross is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that depends on the generosity of the American people to support that mission. 

“Oftentimes, we’re associated with the federal government but it’s wrong. We’re a nonprofit who relies on the generosity of the American public to provide the materials and the trained volunteers that are staffing shelters in California,” he says.

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