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Thursday, June 13, 2024


Sept. 12, 2001 — How can I help? I can’t contact my daughter in New York City. Where can I donate blood? The local chapters of the American Red Cross have been fielding queries such as these — and more — in the wake of the terrorist attack on the mainland.
Virgin Islands residents can help in the aid effort, but because neither the St. Croix Red Cross chapter nor the St. Thomas-St. John one have the capability to collect blood, the most direct way for residents to provide assistance is through monetary donations, according to the St. Croix Red Cross interim manager, Wendy Horton.
Blood donations are being handled by Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas and Juan F. Luis Hospital on St. Croix.
While the Red Cross can try to help local residents contact immediate family members, people should attempt to make contact for themselves first, Pat Odoms, public affairs officer for the St. Thomas-St. John chapter, said.
"Please understand that, due to chaotic circumstances and communications issues, this process may take some time," Odoms said, "but we will make every effort to locate your family."
Because of isolation from the mainland with the current ban on airline flights, island residents are limited in how they can help. For information on donating blood, people can call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or log on to the www.redcross.org.
Horton said that information about assisting can be obtained by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW. For information in Spanish, call 1-800-257-7575.
"If folks want to assist financially to help the victims, they can," she said.
Donations also can be made by mailing a check to the St. Croix American Red Cross at P.O. Box 6617, Sunny Isle 00823. "Designate that it is for the terrorist attack," Horton said. "We want to send it where people intend for it to go."
Horton said two people from the St. Croix chapter who have been trained in disaster relief will fly to White Plains, N.Y., as soon as civilian flights resume.
For more information, contact the St. Croix chapter at 778-5104 or the St. Thomas-St. John chapter at 774-0375.
For additional phone numbers and web sites, see "Resources to get information, offer help".

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