Red Cross budget takes a hit due to home fires in the winter

American Red Cross (Photo courtesy WTHI News)

Terre Haute, Ind. (WTHI) – Fires in the winter months have become all too familiar. Families are forced out from behind the flames and consequently out of their homes.

When Samantha Donham’s house caught fire, she was left with nothing.

“I really don’t know. I literally lost everything,” Donham said.

When a fire is called in, dispatch or the fire departments notify Red Cross. They show up in the case assistance is needed, reported WISH-TV sister station WTHI News.

Suzie Thorlton with The Wabash Valley Red Cross says winter is their busiest time.

“Our budget gets a lot heavier during the winter months just for obvious reasons. I would say of our annual budget, 40 percent of that is used in the winter for home fires,” Thorlton said.

The Red Cross helps people recover 24 to 72 hours after a fire.

It’s no cost for those needing help but the money has to come from somewhere.

Still, Thorlton says there’s good reason for designating almost half of their budget to winter assistance.

“Home fires, it’s devastating; it can change a persons life,” she said.

As for the local budget…they aren’t struggling on a daily basis but the busiest time of their year isn’t over just yet.

The American Red Cross asks for your time as a donation. Although donations are appreciated, volunteering your time to help those recovering from a house fire is just as helpful. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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