Duncan_Duncan's chapter of the Red Cross which served the Red River Red Cross chapter in Stephens and Jefferson Counties, closed its doors four years ago. Since then, floods, and two straight years of wildfire disasters have plagued the two counties. The assistance they've needed has come from the Great Plains Chapter in Lawton, and the counties' residents are grateful. But, now, the sub-service station is open in Duncan.
Melvin Jones has been appointed by the Red Cross as the Red River Advisory Chair for the branch. He says since the area has been recovering from last year's floods and ongoing wildfires, the need for a chapter in the community became apparent. Monday, Jones met with the Great Plains chapter to discuss reviving the re-instated branch. "It'll be an advisory counsel we'll still be under the Great Plains chapter," says Jones. "But we will have a local advisory counsel of people from that area to make recommendations and to push the process forward to become our own local chapter."
Last year, the Great Plains Chapter provided residents in Stephens and Jefferson counties with more than $40,000 in immediate emergency assistance. James Conyers, chair of the Great Plains Chapter says now it's time for the Red River branch to take over. He says with their own chapter, the community can support it directly, and donations will go directly back to the area. "It's just quicker response to have your own local service delivery area or chapter in your community."
The United Way of Stephens County, along with local fundraisers, funds a large portion of the Duncan Red Cross budget. So, now the Red River Advisory Board is actively fundraising. Jones says some of the budget is already spoken for this fiscal year, and it may be more than a year before a new chapter is born. The Stephens and Jefferson County Red Cross Service Center is located in the Stephens County Courthouse.
If you would like to help the Red River Red Cross find a new home, call 580-255-6042.
7News Reporter Neely Tsoodle
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