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Standard Foundation donates $5,000 to Red Cross clients

| Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 7:35 p.m.

The local American Red Cross chapter will have added money to help clients in Westmoreland and Armstrong counties who require long-term assistance after a disaster.

Standard Charitable Foundation recently awarded $5,000 to the Greensburg-based unit of the Red Cross.

“We are excited,” said Donna Pacella, Red Cross executive director for Westmoreland, Armstrong and Indiana counties.

“This is the second year in a row that we received a grant from the Standard Charitable Foundation. We use that money to meet extended-care needs of our disaster clients,” she added.

Disaster clients who need a security deposit or a first month's rent are the type of people who will benefit from the money, Pacella said.

Initially, the Red Cross meets immediate needs after a disaster, such as shelter, food and clothing.

Every person in need of assistance relief receives disaster money, but about 80 percent of disaster clients fall below the poverty level, officials said.

“The American Red Cross is so grateful to receive a $5,000 grant,” said Michael Felice, agency disaster manager. “Without extended-care assistance, many families find themselves homeless with nowhere to go after a disaster.”

Susan McCormick, community banking office administrative and operations specialist for Standard Bank, said she knows firsthand what the Red Cross can do.

“After being a recipient of the Red Cross' aid in 1980 after a tornado, I understand the invaluable work they deliver,” she said in a new release. “After the tornado, the only thing my husband and I had were the clothes on our back.

“The Red Cross came to our aid and provided money for clothes and offered to provide a motel room,” she added.

Most of the grant money will be used in Westmoreland County, Pacella said.

Her group had to file an application with Standard to be eligible to receive the grant.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or

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