Red Cross Focuses on Its Core Services

Wallingford Branch Under Review

For nearly a hundred years the Red Cross branch on South Main Street in Wallingford has been part of the community.  The branch has recently been renovated, with thousands of dollars in donations from the Trail of Terror and other community fundraisers.

However, the South Central Connecticut chapter is focusing on its core services, trying to move away from the medical transportation and food bank the Wallingford branch runs now.

"There's nothing been finally decided yet," said Walter "Bob" Fulton, chairman of the board of the chapter.  "We're internally working with staff and volunteers to develop plans to orderly transition."

Fulton says the chapter has to concentrate on its core services, blood collection, safety training, and emergency response.

"We've had a thirty percent increase in emergency responses in our territory in this past year," said Charles Frey, the chapter CEO.  "That's more people in need of emergency food, shelter, clothing, replacement of necessities, after fires and flooding."

So with demand for service up and donations of money potentially down because of the economy, the Red Cross may retrench.  If it does, it will provide its core services from New Haven, as it does already, and try to find other nonprofit agencies to take over the food bank and medical transportation.

"Those discussions are just beginning," said Fulton.

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