There are 10 American Red Cross chapters in Iowa, and they’ve collected tens of thousands of dollars for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Radio Iowa contacted each of the Red Cross chapters in Iowa and found the 10 agencies have collected nearly $2.8 million in from Iowans who’ve donated to Red Cross hurricane relief efforts. That tally covers donations through Tuesday, September 14, 2005. The Grant Wood Area chapter in Cedar Rapids has collected the most — about $1.3 million. The Central Iowa American Red Cross chapter has taken in $821,000 from the Des Moines area. The Tri-State area chapter based in Dubuque has raised over $177,000. The Red Cross chapter based in Sioux City which serves surrounding counties in Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska has collected about $150,000. The Hawkeye chapter of the Red Cross in Waterloo has collected about $130,000. The Lincolnway Chapter in Ames has a tally of nearly $90,000 from donors in Story, Boone and Greene Counties. Marshalltown’s “Iowa Rivers Chapter” has collected about $51,000. The Loess (less) Hills chapter in Council Bluffs has collected about $50,000, with a $55,000 grant coming in next week for hurricane relief. The Southern Prairie Chapter in Ottumwa has collected about $18,000 and the Mahaska County chapter in Oskaloosa has collected just over $12,000. Leslie Schaffer, executive director of the Central Iowa American Red Cross chapter, says in addition to those donations, hundreds of Iowa volunteers have stepped forward to help. “Some help in our local Red Cross chapters answering phones, responding to questions from the public and working with other volunteers,” Schaffer says. “Some are working one-on-one with hurricane survivors and there are others who are trained and deployed as relief worked, committing to a three-week hardship duty in the southern United States.” A total of 356 Iowans have been deployed south by the Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is launching the largest-single volunteer recruitment effort in American Red Cross history called ‘Give Help Now.’ As part of the campaign, the Central Iowa chapter has pledged to train 500 volunteers from the Des Moines area by November 30 to help fulfill our unprecedented need for immediate volunteers and to build our capacity to respond to disasters,” she says. The other Red Cross chapters in Iowa are making similar volunteer recruitment efforts. The Red Cross is also encouraging individual Iowans and families as well as Iowa businesses to draw up a disaster plan. “In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever that all of us be prepared for possible emergencies,” Schaffer says. “Natural or other disasters can strike suddenly at any time at any place.” Schaffer urges Iowans to make sure at least one member of your family takes an American Red Cross first aid and CPR course. You can find more information about the American Red Cross on-line at