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Red Cross Collects $1M For Mass. Tornado Relief

This article is more than 11 years old.

The Red Cross says it has raised about $1 million already to help the victims of the tornadoes earlier this month in western and central Massachusetts, but there is still more work to be done.

The Red Cross of the Pioneer Valley continues to operate a shelter at the MassMutual Center for people who lost their homes in the June 1 tornadoes. Nearly 300 people stayed at the sports arena over the weekend.

Rick Lee, the agency's executive director, says the biggest obstacle is finding housing for the 250 victims who are still displaced.

"In particular a lot of low-income housing has been affected, so it's made the challenge even more difficult," Lee said.

The relief organization has also served nearly 17,000 meals and continues to distribute food, cleanup supplies and even toiletries through vans that make their way through damaged neighborhoods. The Red Cross has even helped people replace lost eyeglasses and fill prescriptions.

"Case workers are making calls back to people who have identified themselves by phone," Lee said, "but we're also going literally to ring doorbells and put notes on homes and trying to locate people who were in homes that are not there."

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno says city agencies are working hard to clean up the mess.

With reporting from The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on June 13, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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