Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

November 17, 2013

Local agencies respond with aid


American Red Cross

Fran Dutton is the international caseworker and office coordinator for the Elkhart County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross has hundreds of offices in the Philippines along with 1,000 staffers and more than 500,000 active volunteers.

At home, the Red Cross is helping people find their family in the Philippines and raise donations.

“I did have a woman come in looking for help on finding information about her family,” Dutton said.

She’s hoping word gets out to other families that the Red Cross can help reconnect them with their families through the Restoring Family Links program.

“If people are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines — many phone lines are down — they can contact their local Red Cross chapter,” she said. Those in Elkhart County can call 293-6519.

The person searching can go to Dutton’s office and she will initiate a search. Paperwork with all of the pertinent information about the family members will be filled out.

Dutton will then enter that information into the Restoring Family Links case work system. She will transmit that information to the national Red Cross headquarters in Washington.

The national headquarters then transmits that information to the Philippines.

If a family member has checked in at a Red Cross station in the Philippines, the Red Cross will have a record of it, Dutton said.

“The Red Cross has deployed five disaster specialists and they are on the ground now,” she said. “They are dealing with communications by satellite system and disaster assessment. One of the major things is right now the American Red Cross has committed an initial $6 million response for this typhoon. As donations come in we expect to provide more.”

To donate online, go to http://www.redcross.org/ or call 1-800-REDCROSS.

Inside Goshen resident reflects on his time in Philippines. A7

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