Today the Times Free Press will begin a local storm-relief effort, Neediest Cases: Southern Storms.
Donations from individuals and businesses can be sent directly to the newspaper and will be channeled to the American Red Cross. Donations also can be made online at http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/neediestcases/2011/.
"The Neediest Cases Fund has been helping people in need around the holidays for generations," said Jason Taylor, the newspaper's president and general manager. "By opening the fund during this time of tragedy, we hope to give our readers and community yet another way of helping area storm victims through the American Red Cross."
Next week, the newspaper will begin publishing lists of Neediest Cases: Southern Storms donors along with a running tally of donations.
"When your gift is directed to the Greater Chattanooga Area Chapter Red Cross, 100 percent of your donation goes to feed, shelter and assist those who need it most in our greater Chattanooga area," said Barbara Alexander, chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Red Cross chapter.
"We expect a large and prolonged response to these devastating storms," Alexander said.