A few days ago the Meriden Record-Journal reported that the Wallingford chapter of the American Red Cross would be closing its doors at the end of August. This is very disappointing, not only because the Red Cross is such a fine organization that helps millions every year around the world, but also because of the many local services that the branch supplies the Wallingford and Meriden communities.
Core services such as health and safety training and blood donation will be relocated to the New Haven office, but custom services like transportation of seniors, financial assistance with rent and utilities, and food bank operations would go away. The four staff members will be out of a job and the building, located at 144 South Main Street in Wallingford, will be sold. The building just received some extensive updates, including a new roof and windows, updated electrical and plumbing, and fresh paint inside and out, all paid for by over $250,000 in private donations.
While the closing seems to be financially motivated, the loss to the community will be extensive, perhaps irreplaceable. Community residents had little input towards the decision, but we have a feeling the outcry from residents will be very vocal, both at Town Hall and in the Record-Journal through letters to the Editor.
As a way to give voice to the concerns of the populace, a group calling themselves Friends of the Wallingford Red Cross have started a petition on PetitionSpot.com to gather support for the organization. They are trying to accumulate 50,000 signatures, but at last count there were only 32 names on the list, including our own, in the 4 hours since the petition went live. We ask that anyone reading this post please click on the link above and sign the petition. You can also show your support by emailing the CEO of the South Central Connecticut Chapter at firstname.lastname@example.org, or his immediate supervisor, Diane Auger, at email@example.com and letting them know (politely, of course) how you feel about the loss of this vital part of the community.
Thank you for your support.