Red Cross asking for donations for fire victimsEditor:The beginning of the holiday season has been a sad one for several area families. In some cases, families lost all their belonging that took a lifetime to build due to tragic home fires. During such times, the Muskingum Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross (serving Carroll, Harrison and Tuscarawas counties) is there to lend a hand to victims of disaster.We never know when or where a disaster may occur, so Red Cross must be ready. This string of fires, however, has hit during a difficult time for many. On average, the chapter responds to about two fires a month. However, in the past four weeks, our disaster volunteers assisted five families with home fires. They lost homes, presents and memories. Though, the chapter was there to provide the fire victims with free basic emergence needs such as food, clothing and temporary shelter.Many of these services we take for granted, but we shouldn't. Contrary to what many believe, our organization relies on community support. The Red Cross is not a government agency. With 45 volunteers for every paid staff person, the Red Cross is an efficient nonprofit organization and is able to put your support to work effectively and efficiently.Please join us this winter season by supporting the American Red Cross. It is only through your generous support that we can continue to live up to our promise that together, we'll be there. Donations can be made by calling (330) 343-8633, sending contributions to 1451 4th St. NW, New Philadelphia, OH 44663 or visiting www.mlcredcross.org.Chad ConradDirector, Muskingum Lakes ChapterMuskingum Lakes Chapter New Philadelphia