Tamara Sharp, Pontotoc County Red Cross branch manager said several local volunteer fire departments have recently made donations to the Red Cross.

The Fitzhugh and Lula volunteer fire departments each donated $500 to the Red Cross and the Pontotoc County Firefighter Association donated $1,000.

Sharp said she is appreciative of the donations and the efforts of the firefighters and said the Red Cross does all it can to help these firefighters in the field.

“If you’re working out there three, four or five hours fighting a fire in the heat with all the protective gear that they have to wear, it wears them out so they call the Red Cross,” she said.  Sharp said the Red Cross tries to keep the firefighters well-fed after tiring days of fighting fires for no pay.

“The Red Cross partners with local businesses and we go feed them,” Sharp said.  “Sometimes they request just snacks and water.”

Sharp said the majority of the firefighters in Pontotoc County work on a volunteer basis.

She said the Red Cross has run through much of its funding in the winter months.

“We’ve helped 53 people that have been involved with fires just since November—53 people that have been affected in Pontotoc County alone to the sum of almost $17,000,” she said.

Although Sharp said any donations the Red Cross receives are greatly appreciated, the organization may have trouble sustaining itself without more donations.

“It makes it very difficult whenever we do our fund-raising drive and we raise $2,000 to $5,000.  That’s not going to provide the needs and the services,” she said.  “That’s the actual money that the clients receive.  It doesn’t provide the administrative cost to provide those services.”

Sharp said tornado season will be another busy time for Red Cross.

“We’re really trying to get the word out because we’re not going to be able to sustain ourselves unless we get our fund-raising up,” she said.