American Red Cross in Pleasantville
Needs Help For Fire Victims

Pam Grites is having a very hectic day. She is the executive director of the
local Red Cross and she is working to help an estimated 100 victims from
today's fire at the California Apartments on Route 9 in Pleasantville.

"This is a big one," said Grites. "With 24 units down and the possibility of
three to four people per unit, it takes a tremendous amount of work to meet
immediate needs."

Grites said a Red Cross Nurse was on scene at the fires from the start to
help get medication for displaced people. She added that mental health
volunteers are also there to help people cope with the devastation that
comes when all of their possession are lost. She is also hoping that area
residents will donate cash to the chapter to help defray the costs of this

"This will be a tremendous expense for our chapter," said Grites. "We hope
the community will respond to this local disaster as they did to the huge
disasters in South Asia and Africa."

Grites said that victims of today's fire will be moved to motels and given
food and clothing vouchers. Prescription medications will be replaced and
mental health services will be given.

Two area businesses have already thrown in a lifesaver for the Red Cross.
Grites said that the McDonalds Restaurants in Pleasantville and Absecon have
donated sandwiches for the mass of emergency responders who are working at
the scene of the fire. This includes firefighters, emergency medical
responders, police officers and others associated with the disaster.

If you would like to help the fire victims, send donations to 850 N.
Franklin Blvd, Pleasantville, N.J. 08232 or call 609-646-8330.

  February 2, 2005