To My Fellow Countrymen:
There must be a very material increase in the resources of the American Red Cross to enable it to bear the burden which it has undertaken in the drought area and smaller communities over twenty-one states during this winter. Within the last ten days the Red Cross has had to increase the rate of expenditure to an amount greater than during the entire preceding four months.
The American Red Cross is the Nation’s sole agency for relief in such a crisis; it is meeting the demand and must continue to do so during the remainder of the winter.
The disaster reserve of the Red Cross which was pledged to this emergency last August is not sufficient to meet the increased demands. It is imperative in the view of the experienced directors of the Red Cross that a minimum of at least ten million dollars be contributed to carry the relief program to completion.
The familiarity of this situation, due to months of press reports of its progress, should not blind us to the fact that it is an acute emergency, nor dull our active sympathies toward our fellow-countrymen, who are in actual want and in many cases will lack the bare necessities of life unless they are provided for.
As President of the United States and as President of the American Red Cross, I, therefore, appeal to our people to contribute promptly and most generously in order that the suffering of thousands of our fellow-countrymen may be prevented. I am doing so with supreme confidence that in the face of this great humanitarian need your response will be immediate.
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