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Kershaw County schools celebrate Red Cross month with penny drive

Posted: March 18, 2014 4:55 p.m.
Updated: March 19, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Kershaw County schools are celebrating March as Red Cross Month by holding their annual Million Penny Drive to benefit the American Red Cross Sandhills Chapter. The coin collection takes place during March at all Kershaw County public schools.

The penny drive has collected more than $8,000 in its three-year history. The goal is to break $5,000 this year, setting a new record. Proceeds from the drive will go directly to providing assistance from the Red Cross including disaster relief, community preparedness, services to the armed forces, blood services and health and safety services.

The number of fires in Kershaw County has increased during the last year, according to Nancy Cataldo and the students’ efforts help people after a disaster, executive director of the American Red Cross Sandhills Chapter.

"Without funding, the Red Cross cannot provide services to the community, so every penny counts," said Cataldo. "These students are helping make an impact right here in their community."

February was a busy month for the Red Cross Palmetto SC Region. In addition to opening 29 shelters and serving more than 26,000 hot meals after the winter storm, the Red Cross has assisted 449 people displaced after 145 home fires in February -- a 23 percent increase in fires for the same time last year. After a fire, the American Red Cross assists with emergency needs of those impacted including temporary lodging, food, essential hygiene items, health services and emotional support people may need as they recover from a home fire.

You can help people affected by disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and floods by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit www.redcross.org or call 1-800 RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to Sandhills chapter. For more information please call 803-775-2363.

Because of trained disaster volunteers and financial assistance from the community, Red Cross has been able to help more than 1,000 people affected by disasters in the Palmetto SC region since Jan. 1. On average, the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region responds to a disaster every 6.5 hours. The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross chapters spanning 35-counties of South Carolina.

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