The American Red Cross began handing out cleaning kits to thousands of flood victims throughout the Chicago area, including Bellwood, one of the city’s hardest hit areas.
Red Cross began its effort to provide homes with cleaning supplies Saturday, handing out kits that included rakes, mops, bleach, garbage bags and other cleaning supplies, an effort they plan to continue throughout the week.
Bellwood mayor Frank Pasquale said that nearly half of the towns 6,000 homes were flooded in the torrential rain that hit Chicago earlier this month.
“Red Cross is a blessing in disguise,” he said. “My residents, like anyone else, are just frustrated.”
Red Cross has been assisting the area for more than nine days, offering shelter and other forms of support to flood victims throughout Chicago.
CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater Chicago Fran Edwardson said the relief effort is the largest the company has implemented in more than 10 years.
“It’s very surprising to me to still have three shelters open,” Edwardson said. “We had more than 100 people still living in shelters last night.”
Residents said the cleaning supplies provided much-needed assistance after their homes were destroyed by flooding waters.
“It makes a difference and shows somebody actually cares about you,” said resident Anthony Womack. “It’s not falling on deaf ears at least.”
Edwardson said the company will continue to hand out cleaning kits throughout the city and offer necessary relief until their services are no longer needed, but they expect the mobile distribution to continue throughout the week.