LDS Church donates $1.5 million to American Red Cross for new response vehicles

(KSTU) -- When a natural disaster strikes, Utah’s American Red Cross will be ready to lend a hand even more so, thanks to the donation of $1.5 million that will go towards purchasing 10 new-generation Emergency Response Vehicles.

Officials with the American Red Cross and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met for a presentation on Friday morning where the announcement was made.

Cliff Holtz, Chief Operating Officer for the American Red Cross told Fox 13 that the donation the church made will make a huge difference.

“We don’t get to do this a lot. Our partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is unlike any other across the country,” Holtz said. “When we get one of these new response vehicles, we can go into the most devastated communities across the county. Devastated by tornadoes, hurricanes and bring food, hope, relief supplies to people who really have no other way to get that supplies.”

The new vehicles can trek through rough terrain, provide food, water, blankets and survival packs for families that have been impacted by floods, fires, hurricanes, etc.

“Utahans will absolutely be beneficiary of this gift. One of the first response vehicles will be deployed right here in Utah and serve just this local community,” Holtz said.

Of the 10 vehicles being donated, Utah will receive one and the rest will be sent out and spread throughout the United States.

Bishop Dean M. Davies, with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said that he hopes these vehicles aren’t used too often, but hopefully when a devastating incident does occur, the American Red Cross will be ready.

“The current vehicles are more than ten years old, they’re at the end of their useful life, and so we are grateful that we could contribute towards ten new ones,” Davies said.

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