RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A restructuring plan has left the Tri-cities with only one chapter of the American Red Cross. The move is expected to save the organization at least $100,000 over the next year. By consolidating two chapters into one, the Red Cross says services to families in need will expand.
The American Red Cross chapter in Petersburg has responded to countless fires and other emergencies -- providing relief to those in need. Now, change has come. The Southside Area chapter is merging with the Red Cross chapter in Hopewell.
"For two years now we've been looking at different ways to streamline services and get better use of our donated dollars," said Bill Harrison, spokesperson for the Red Cross.
The merger means one chapter will now serve 14 localities.
"By no means does that mean the services won't be available. We've got staff members who live in those communities that provide those services," said Harrison.
In fact, Harrison says consolidating comes with an increase in benefits for families, specifically, those in the Tri-cities area.
"Families in Hopewell and Prince George who've had disasters such as a house fire or hurricane damage will now be eligible for assistance for lodging, clothing, medications, and food," said Harrison.
The Red Cross is expected to vacate its Petersburg office within the next 60 days.
"We don't need the space here in this building so we're in the process of looking for a smaller footprint here in the city of Petersburg," said Rosalyn Andrews, Senior Regional Director of Programming and Services.
The chapter manager in Hopewell has been laid off because of the consolidation. Staffers in Petersburg are now working between both offices.
"This is in the best interest of the Red Cross and the community," said Harrison.
The restructuring plan took effect on July first.