IOWA DERECHO 2020

Raymond James Financial gives $100,000 to Iowa derecho efforts

Red Cross says donations still needed for storm expenses

Volunteers in a Red Cross Disaster Relief vehicle deliver supplies to an apartment complex Aug. 18 in southwest Cedar Ra
Volunteers in a Red Cross Disaster Relief vehicle deliver supplies to an apartment complex Aug. 18 in southwest Cedar Rapids. A Red Cross representative said Thursday the bills for the nonprofit’s derecho work were more expensive than in some disasters because those left homeless had to be housed in hotels, instead of shelters, because of coronavirus concerns. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Raymond James Financial donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross for Iowa derecho relief Thursday.

“This donation is extremely generous,” said Josh Murray, spokesman for the American Red Cross’s Iowa and Nebraska division. “It’ll definitely help the people affected by the derecho.”

Murray said the American Red Cross has seen several corporations donate following the Aug. 10 derecho.

“Since the first few days after the storm, we’ve had corporations reaching out,” Murray said. “Some of them were serving bottles of water or food. ... Several of them gave financially, too.”

The Red Cross, Murray said, still needs support for its Iowa derecho efforts.

“What we’ll spend on this disaster will exceed that ($100,000 donation) quite a bit,” Murray said. “The bills are still coming in.”

Coronavirus meant the Red Cross had to adjust some of its practices for social distancing. That comes at a cost.

“We put a lot of people in hotels instead of shelters,” Murray said. “That’s a safety procedure because of COVID-19, but that costs a lot.”

The Red Cross also paid for volunteers to travel to Iowa from across the country.

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Raymond James Financial is a financial services company based in St. Petersburg, Fla., with Cedar Rapids locations at 1625 First Ave. SE, 1945 51st St. NE and 4800 N. River Blvd. NE.

Comments: (319) 398-8394; john.steppe@thegazette.com

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