Selma can’t aford to lose Red Cross

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 25, 2003

This isn’t a good time for folks who try and help others. Service organizations like the United Way and the American Red Cross are the first to receive cuts when belts have to be tightened.

Of course, it wouldn’t be that way in a perfect world. Those who help others should come first and not receive &uot;whatever is left over&uot; from corporate and family budgets.

Last week the Red Cross made the decision to do some consolidating in this area when it de-chartered the Black Belt office that had stood since 1917. Red Cross services, including an office, will still be maintained in Selma, but &uot;administrative support will now be handled by the Montgomery chapter,&uot; according to Billy Baxter, executive director of the Central Alabama Red Cross.

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The Red Cross is a wonderful service organization for this area. When there is a house fire, the Red Cross steps in. When blood supplies are low, the Red Cross is there.

This year our area was hit hard with house fires and the Red Cross was taxed in its efforts to provide temporary shelter and comfort to families.

While we don’t see the recent move as keeping the Red Cross from serving the community’s needs, the community should ask questions about the recent changes. We need to make sure our community is top of mind with the Red Cross.

Selma and the Black Belt region cannot afford to lose services. We need to make sure community leaders and the Red Cross understand our concerns.

The public will get a chance to do just that. Baxter and other Red Cross representatives will be in Selma Wednesday to explain the changes. This is a good move by the Red Cross.

A meeting will be held at the Selma-Dallas County public library at 11 a.m. and the public is invited.

If you cannot attend this meeting, you may want to call the Red Cross to voice your concern. You can call Baxter at 334-260-3981.