CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati's chapter of the Red Cross got a boost Monday morning after a busy year deploying volunteers and supplies at home and further afield.
The organization received a $450,000 donation from the Harold C. Schott Foundation Monday morning, which will be spent on three next-generation emergency response vehicles that carry staff, volunteers and supplies to disaster areas all across the Tri-State.
Local Red Cross CEO Trish Smitson says these trucks are in desperate need to be replaced to help the thousands of people who depend on the Red Cross annually.
"The two we have need to be retired, this is not an addition to what we have," Smitson said. "We will not have five. It is replacing because the ones we have are quite old, parts are hard to find and they get towed. They break down. This means we will be able to be more efficient and will not have that cost, anxiety and stress with vehicles that are not really up to par."
This year, Cincinnati's chapter of the Red Cross has sent crews to help victims of devastating floods both in West Virginia and closer to home in Norwood and St. Bernard; Flint, Michigan, to help with the water crisis; Florida and North Carolina to help with Hurricane Matthew relief and, of course, the recent Smoky Mountain wildfires. The Red Cross has also responded to more than 1,000 fires right here in the Tri-State.
"They had two vehicles, two was not enough. They needed three. The two they had were not working well. In fact, we learned this morning one of them broke down recently. We feel this gives us not only a good opportunity to help not only locally, but nationally as well," said Thomas Hiltz of the Harold C. Schott Foundation.
The three new trucks for the Red Cross will arrive ready-to-go in early spring.