Donations ensure Red Cross disaster preparedness



    OTTAWA, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - Shoppers throughout Atlantic Canada will help the
Canadian Red Cross strengthen its disaster management capabilities over the
next three weeks, in one of the largest domestic fund-raising campaigns the
organization has undertaken.
    When paying for purchases at 40 Wal-Mart stores in 36 Atlantic
communities, shoppers will be invited to donate a dollar to the Canadian Red
Cross. The campaign from Aug. 9 until Labour Day is expected to raise
$1 million across Canada. About 15 per cent will be raised in the Atlantic
provinces, where donor support for volunteer-based organizations like the Red
Cross is traditionally strong.
    Separate from campaigns to support international humanitarian work like
that now under way for typhoon victims in Asia, or refugees in war-torn areas
globally, this campaign helps the Red Cross replenish emergency stockpiles,
buy or maintain equipment and train disaster volunteers at home in Canada.
    "Wal-Mart is among businesses that never hesitate to quietly assist us in
helping people recover from personal disasters," said John Byrne, Atlantic
region general manager of the Canadian Red Cross. "It's heart warming to see
the way store managers, staff and customers locally show their support for our
work through this annual campaign."
    At most stores, Red Cross volunteers will be on hand at various times
with displays of disaster management vehicles, communications equipment and
emergency supplies.
    In Atlantic Canada, the Red Cross has over 1,000 skilled disaster
management volunteers who respond to some 300 incidents a year - nearly one a
day. Recent examples include assisting flood victims in eastern Newfoundland
and Labrador, and families who have lost all their belongings in house or
apartment fires in the Maritimes.
    "We're pulling our stores, customers and Canadians together to raise
awareness and funds that will provide support in times of crisis," said
Mario Pilozzi, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Canada and a member of the Red
Cross. "While it's difficult to predict when a disaster may strike, it's easy
to donate a dollar knowing that you'll be helping fellow Canadians in their
time of need."

    Since they began in 2003, the annual Wal-Mart Canada campaigns have
contributed almost $6 million to help the Canadian Red Cross be prepared to
respond when disaster strikes. Canadians can also support Red Cross disaster
preparedness and response locally and internationally at any time online at
www.redcross.ca or by calling 1-800-418-1111.

    Shoppers throughout Atlantic Canada will help the Canadian Red Cross
strengthen its disaster management capabilities over the next three weeks.
From now until Labour Day, the region's 40 Wal-Mart stores will invite
shoppers to donate a dollar to the Red Cross as they pay for purchases. The
funds help the Red Cross replenish emergency stockpiles, maintain equipment
and train disaster volunteers. The Red Cross has about a thousand such
volunteers in Atlantic Canada who are called out an average of 300 times a
year - nearly once a day. Recent examples include helping flood victims in
eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, and families who lost all their belongings
in house and apartment fires in the Maritimes.




For further information:

For further information: Dan Bedell, Director, Public Affairs, Atlantic
Zone, Canadian Red Cross, (902) 424-1411, Cell: (902) 221-1086,
dan.bedell@redcross.ca; Christi Gallagher, Wal-Mart Canada, (905) 821-2111,
ext. 4042


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