ATLANTA – The Red Cross is doing tremendous work helping people in southern and central Georgia and Florida rebuild after devastation from Hurricane Michael – and 11Alive wants to help.

11Alive hosted a live telethon on Thursday, Oct. 18 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. to raise money for the Red Cross. With the help of the community, we helped raise $56,000 for the Red Cross.

Walter Anderson accepts hot meals from American Red Cross worker James Hogan in Panama City, FL. Walter and 15 friends and family have gathered in one home to wait for utilities to be restored. Photo by Daniel Cima/American Red Cross

Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida on Oct. 10 as the third-strongest hurricane in U.S. history. It sliced through southern and central Georgia, devastating homes and agriculture.

More than 800 homes have been heavily damaged or destroyed across Georgia and close to 1,500 have minor damage, according to preliminary numbers. As of Wednesday, Oct. 17, about 45,000 people are still without power across the state.

The Red Cross is working around-the-clock with partners to get help to where it is needed the most, providing safe shelter, hot meals, health services and emotional support – and they will stay there as long as needed.

The Red Cross depends on public generosity to support catastrophic relief efforts after disasters like Hurricane Michael. Financial donations will go directly to those impacted by the storm, enabling the Red Cross to continue its work.

Panama City resident Jay Postley was happy to receive a hot meal from the American Red Cross. Jay's apartment complex is still without utility services due to the impact of Hurricane Michael. Photo by Daniel Cima/American Red Cross

Where your Red Cross donations go

  • $20 can provide comfort supplies – like toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo – for a family of four
  • $50 can cover the costs to provide a parent with diapers, wipes and infant formula
  • $100 can provide clean-up kits – including brooms, mops, buckets, sponges and bleach – to five families.
  • $200 can shelter and feed a family of four for one day

Hurricane Michael Red Cross Response Facts

  • As of Monday, over 1,600 people stayed in over 21 Red Cross and community evacuation centers across Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
  • Over 200 people are staying in three Georgia shelter – in Albany, Thomasville and Bainbridge
  • Overall, the Red Cross and other organizations have provided over 22,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters. The Red Cross has provided about 80 percent of those stays.
  • Over 1,280 Red Cross disaster workers are on the ground to support relief efforts in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
  • The Red Cross and its partners have served close to 200,000 meals and snacks.
  • The Red Cross has distributed over 4,700 relief items, including clean-up kits, rakes, shovels, bleach and garbage bags.
  • Working with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, the Red Cross deployed six field kitchens to Florida and Georgia that can cook thousands of hot meals every day. The Red Cross kitchen in Bainbridge, Georgia, loads up over a dozen Red Cross Emergency Response vehicles with warm meals every day. Those trucks distribute food across 13 Georgia counties.
  • In all, the Red Cross has mobilized over 70 emergency response vehicles to distribute food and relief supplies across affected neighborhoods.

Consider donating blood

The Red Cross has a critical need for blood and platelet donations to help meet patient needs.

This fall, Hurricane Michael and Hurricane Florence have forced the cancellation of about 200 blood drives, causing approximately 7,000 units of blood to go uncollected in the Southeast. Low donor turnout is expected to continue in affected areas as communities recover.

The Red Cross asks eligible individuals to make an appointment today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.