Red Cross hosts Power of the Purse fundraiser

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - March is American Red Cross month. Since the 1800s, the Red Cross has been a beacon of help for those in need following a disaster. More than 250 people gathered at the Renaissance Hotel for this year's Power of the Purse luncheon. Bags and purses of all kinds were on the auction block to help raise funds. Guests were also invited to lend a hand and become part of the Red Cross. Four year volunteer Gwendolyn Hilliard said making a change in her community is a really big deal.

"It's like giving back, me helping the communities, the kids they are out playing out all the time playing," said Hilliard.

Kay Wilkins is the CEO of the South Louisiana Red Cross region. She said everyone has a Red Cross story. She told a Katrina story of a group of kids who were rescued, taken by bus to Houston, reunited by their Red Cross swim instructor Ms Laura.

"One of the first people to recognize Ms Laura was a 12 year old who wrapped her arms around her and said Ms. Laura, I had to swim to get out of my house. And Laura held her and hugged her and said you're safe now, and the young girl started crying uncontrollably, because she said my Mom couldn't swim," said Wilkins.

To donate to the American Red Cross,  please go to

Copyright 2014 WAFB. All rights reserved.