Today is known as Red Cross Giving Day, an annual event meant to do exactly what the name says: raise money for the nonprofit that fans out when disaster happens. You’ll see downtown Dallas lit up red this evening. Sundance Square in Fort Worth is doing it, too.
It’s timely. The American Red Cross of the North Texas Region has headed west of Fort Worth to help respond to the Eastland Complex fires. And then 10 tornadoes struck along a 100-mile path from west of Dallas to near the Oklahoma border. The most severe was an EF-3 in Jacksboro, about an hour west of Fort Worth. An EF-2 hit Sherwood Shores in Grayson County, which has caused at least one death.
Weaker twisters hit Montague and Cook counties, while an EF-0—that means 65 to 85 mph winds, compared to the 136 to 165 mph of an EF3—touched down briefly in Carrollton.
Red Cross set up a shelter in Jacksboro on Monday night at a community center in town; the organization estimates 91 one homes were “either damaged or destroyed” in the wake of the tornadoes. They turned that shelter over to local officials on Tuesday.
“In every disaster, the Red Cross provides a variety of services,” the nonprofit said in a statement. “This can range from sheltering to food distribution to simply being there to comfort someone. We assess the needs of individuals on a case-by-case basis.”
While today’s donations won’t go directly to these current disaster efforts, they will help out the next time a tornado touches down or a wildfire swallows thousands of acres of land and property. The Eastland Complex Fire has burned through nearly 55,000 acres and is only 70 percent contained. The folks living west of Abilene will need help, and it’s fair to say another fire like this won’t be far off in the coming years. There or elsewhere. Same goes for tornadoes; Texas averages about 132 a year.
And so, if you look up tonight and see all the red, consider giving a few bucks. You can find more details here.