ALTON — The American Red Cross’ Alton office will close tomorrow because of an organizational restructuring to reduce costs.
Nine Illinois counties, including Calhoun, Jersey and Madison counties, will continue to be part of the new Eastern Missouri Region based in St. Louis. The 27 Illinois counties formerly in the Greater St. Louis Region will consolidate into the Central and Southern Illinois Region. In Missouri, the Southern Missouri Region will fold into the new Eastern and Western Missouri regions.
Robin Summers, executive director of the Southwestern Illinois Chapter, said three people in the Alton office at 1639 Main St. will lose full-time jobs. The organization is helping the employees find new employment, she said.
"The American Red Cross puts the mission first and foremost and that’s why over the years there’s many changes, there’s restructuring, and it’s all with one focus in mind: how do we reduce our costs to better allocate our services and to ensure that we are making the best use of the donor dollars that the American Red Cross receives," Summers said.
Response times will not be affected for fire victims and others the organization assists, she said.
"Our promise is, upon notification of any disaster, that we’re going to be on site and we’re going to be helping people within two hours of that notification," Summers said. "Our time is obviously quicker than that, but with there only being a half-hour’s difference between our location here and the new Eastern Missouri Region in St. Louis, it will not interfere with delivery of services in any way.
"All of us here at the Southwestern Illinois Chapter, while it’s a sad day to see the chapter closing, are very, very appreciative of everyone in the community that we’ve served, of the people that supported what we did on behalf of the communities and on behalf of the people in those communities who were in need," she said. "We were very, very fortunate to have such a supportive community and we’re really grateful for that. We’re going to move on and we’re going to be OK."
Those requiring Red Cross services in Calhoun, Jersey and Madison counties should call (314) 516-2800.
“This was a difficult decision, but organizational finances require it,” Red Cross Regional CEO Cindy Erickson said in a press release. “By implementing a new service delivery structure, the Red Cross will eliminate duplication of efforts, reduce costs and make the best use of donor dollars.”
For information, call (800) RED-CROSS (733-2767) or visit www.redcross.org.