FLORENCE, S.C. – The Red Cross of Eastern South Carolina held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday as it transitions its operations to the United Way of Florence Joe B. Durant Building, located at 1621 W. Palmettos St.
The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce assisted with the ribbon cutting. Chamber ambassadors joined staff, board members and members of the community for the celebration.
The Red Cross of South Carolina said it is proud to serve the communities of Florence and the surrounding areas and has done so for nearly a century.
“It is wonderful,” said Amy Brauner, executive director for the Red Cross Eastern South Carolina Chapter. “We are so excited to stay in the Pee Dee. We work so well together (with United Way). It is just wonderful to have a one-stop shop for our clients.”
Brauner said they work with fire clients, flooding victims and victims of other major disasters, making sure their immediate needs are met.
“Although we have long been partners with The American Red Cross, we are eager to strengthen our partnership as we work together to help individuals in our area,” said Jenna Nance, marketing director of the United Way of Florence County. "This move will allow our community to gain multiple resources in one place through all 22 partner agencies United Way funds, as well as direct services from the American Red Cross.”
Brauner said the Red Cross is so proud to be in Florence.
The Palmetto Street location is in the “heart of Florence,” Brauner said
“This will be a one-stop shop for people in need,” she said.
The organization has sold its previous building, located along West Lucas Street, as part of a strategic real estate plan to streamline all operations, according to a release from the Red Cross. Their goal is to provide the best possible work environment for its team, ensure the best use of the donor dollars and reduce the costs and put money back into the mission.
“We are grateful to the Drs. Bruce and Lee Foundation who so generously donated that building many years ago,” stated the release. “It helped establish a foundation of service that the organization will build upon in the future.
“The United Way of Florence County has been a wonderful partner to the American Red Cross of Eastern South Carolina for over 65 years."
“We are excited to welcome the American Red Cross into our building along West Palmetto Street," Kevin Russell, the president of United Way of Florence County, said in the release. “This is part of a continued desire to provide cooperation and cohesiveness within the Florence County nonprofit community and help create greater accessibility to resources for individuals in need.”
Brauner said the mission of the American Red Cross has not changed. It is dedicated to the people of South Carolina – including the Florence area − and stands ready to provide assistance when needed through Humanitarian Services and Blood Services operations.
“The American Red Cross is proud to remain right here in Florence as we continue to deliver our mission to those that need us most,” Brauner said. “From collecting life-saving blood (to) supporting families after homes fires, opening shelters during storms, helping our military connect with their families or teaching life-saving training, this strengthened partnership will better the communities in Florence.”
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Red Cross can be reached any time at 1-800-RED-CROSS.
For more information about the United Way, visit uwflorence.org or call 843-662-2407.
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