Red Cross CEO embarks on unusual fundraiser

May 30, 2017 by  

The CEO of the San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of the American Red Cross, Bill Earley, could be sympathized with when he said he was tired on the morning of Saturday, May 13. The cause of his exhaustion was that he had spent the last five nights sleeping in a shipping container, and planned to continue doing so until the organization had raised $500,000.

At the time, they were $83,000 short. Earley noted that while he was tired, it was a condition he shared with people in Red Cross shelters.

Earley had two goals when he undertook his project: first, to raise money for ongoing programs; and second, to make people aware of what people face when disaster forces them from their homes.

During the first eight days of his sojourn, which began May 1, Earley’s container was moved to various locations throughout San Diego County. Special events were held, and people were asked to stay in the shelter for the night. The shipping container is 8 by 20 feet, has just room enough for a table, armchair, cot, and two folding chairs, and is referred to informally as ‘the box’. One overnight guest said it helped them relate to how disaster survivors feel.

Earley, a former attorney, said he believes that communities improve if everybody “just leans in a little bit more.”

Efforts like this can benefit if organizers work with newsletter printers, who can create newsletters to keep the community updated on similar projects.

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