American Red Cross
2001 Cantu Court
Sarasota FL 34232
The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Megarie DeLos van Sickel
Board Chair Ms. Terri Costa
Board Chair Affiliation Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz & Getzen
General Info
Organization DBA
American Red Cross
American Red Cross of Southwest Florida
Former Names
Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1881
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement

The American Red Cross performs vital and unique services in our community including Disaster Relief, Emergency Service to the Armed Forces, lifesaving training and community education in disaster preparedness and safety. At the heart of the Red Cross mission, we provide assistance to victims of disasters, restoring hope. Once every 3 days, the Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross responds to a local disaster in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, DeSoto or Hardee Counties.  The newest programs of the Chapter include the Home Fire Campaign, which installs, free of charge, smoke alarms in homes that are in need and includes the phases of response of response, relief and recovery.  The Pillowcase project teaches emergency preparedness in a nonthreatening way to our communities 3rd through 6th graders.  One of the many goals of this program is that the children will take the preparedness message home to their parents, thus sparking the interest in getting ready for disaster.


  • Our volunteers responded to a total of 118 disasters in the last fiscal year providing assistance to 150 families.
  • Trained over 5,000 residents of Southwest Floridians in vital life-saving skills.
  • Provided emergency communication services for more than 200 active members of the Armed Forces and their families.
  • Reached over 7,000 residents through Community Disaster Education presentations.
  • Services available to over 1.4 million residents in Southwest Florida.
  • Installed over 600 free smoke alarms and provided family disaster planning to over 300 families.


  • Prepare for disasters, fostering the creation of a self-reliant and resilient community. Strengthen existing and develop new corporate partnerships, ensuring the business community is actively engaged in the mission of the Red Cross and are adequately prepared for disasters and emergencies.
  • Actively promote and execute our Home Fire Prevention Campaign in all communities served. 
  • Assist disaster victims with immediate needs for food, clothing, shelter and essential medicine. Recruit and train new disaster volunteers. Staff key volunteer leadership positions in new regional Emergency Services structure enhancing organizational response capabilities.
  • Strengthen financial support for the organization. Increase sustaining corporate and individual support. Actively engage key stakeholders in the mission of the Red Cross.
Needs Statement
  1. Disaster Relief- To continue to provide immediate disaster relief services on which the community depends, our greatest single need is for sustainable support for disaster relief. $1,000 will provide a hot meal to 100 disaster clients or will shelter 5 families for a day.
  2. Preparedness-Community Disaster Education enhances individuals’ understanding of the need to be prepared, motivates them to take action, get a kit, make a plan and be informed so they can react appropriately to emergency situations. New programs such as The Pillowcase Project for 3rd through 5th graders and Citizen CPR help folks in our community be better prepared should an emergency arise. To recruit and train a Red Cross volunteer, the organization invests an average of $1,200 in support services and education.
  3. Service to the Armed ForcesProvides emergency communication services to the families of military members and provides networking support. By extending this assistance to families at home through pre-deployment briefings and other educational courses, we provide a circle of care upon which military personnel depend.
  4. Health and Safety ServicesServes the community with a comprehensive array of life-saving programs,community training opportunities, and best practices that dramatically improve the quality of life for individuals, their families and their employers.
  5. Nurses Assistant Training Program-A $25,000 donation to this program will provide scholarships to 20 local students.  Any size donation will support the operating expenses of this important program.
Background Statement
 The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope; our communities are ready and prepared for disasters; all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives. 

 The Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross was established in 1917. The Chapter serves over 1.4 million residents across Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, DeSoto and Hardee Counties. The Chapter provides essential local services, including local disaster relief and preparedness; 24/7 emergency communications and assistance for U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their local families, and health, first aid, and safety training for local citizens.

Areas Served
Areas Served
Throughout the United States
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments The Southwest Florida Chapter serves the populations of Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee, and Sarasota Counties. The American Red Cross serves people throughout the United States and around the world.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness and Relief
Secondary Org Type Human Services
Tertiary Org Type Community Improvement, Capacity Building
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

On any given day in Southwest Florida, a disaster will strike and irrevocably change lives. When a neighbor loses their home and everything they own to a fire, Red Cross volunteers are there, providing comfort, shelter and immediate support. The Red Cross has a long history of providing vital services in Southwest Florida, making a significant contribution to what constitutes the fabric of our community.  From the volunteers who serve, to the trained residents who can save a life, the Southwest Florida Chapter touches on average one in ten lives each year. Your local Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

 Over the last few years, our organization underwent a significant transformation designed to secure our future.  We have removed duplication and structured ourselves to emphasize our strengths and deepen our capacity to respond, both locally, across our region and nationally.

The Red Cross is truly a volunteer led organization. Over 96% of the work of the Red Cross is done by volunteers. Our volunteers are the leaders across all lines of service, from planning for large scale disasters, responding to local house fires, being the vital link between a member of the Armed Services and their family, and teaching the life saving skills of First Aid and CPR.  We are very proud of them and we invite the community to learn more about volunteering for your local office.

 We couldn't do it without our Board of Directors who are the face of the Southwest Florida Chapter in the community. Coming from all walks of life, members serve locally or across our jurisdiction to raise vital awareness and support for the organization. All Board members are financially supportive of the chapter. 

 Finally, without our donors we would simply not be able to do what we do.  While you may think we are only active during the front page disasters, each year we respond to on average 160 disasters annually in Southwest Florida alone.  We rely entirely on the generosity of our donors support to fund our mission.


Red Cross training equips thousands of local people with lifesaving and safety skills. Courses include CRP, First Aid and Automated External Defibrillation (AED), aquatics programs, and Babysitter’s Training, and provides the community with necessary and practical lifesaving courses to help residents in Southwest Florida lead safer and more prepared lives.

Budget $521,588
Category Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success Trained residents will be prepared to recognize medical emergency situations and respond to these situations correctly. 98% of individuals feel prepared to respond after taking a course.
Long Term Success

Because of their extensive training, individuals are able to save more lives. It is difficult to predict the number of emergencies and lives saved, but the training certainly enables individuals to be prepared for these emergencies, and ultimately, save a life.

Program Success Monitoring Post-class questionnaires are used to ensure that participants are confident that they can recognize an emergency situation and qualified to respond appropriately.
Program Success Examples
Each year an average of 14,000 residents of Southwest Florida are trained by the American Red Cross in CPR, First Aid, Lifeguarding, Water Safety, and Babysitting. We also actively engage in community education and enhance the safety and preparedness of the youth and adult population.

The American Red Cross links members of the U.S. Armed Forces with their families during crisis. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the Red Cross sends emergency communications to deployed service members on behalf of their family.  

While providing service to 1.4 million active duty military personnel and their families, the Red Cross also reaches out to more than 1.2 million members of the National Guard and Reserves and their families living in every community in America.

Red Cross workers in hundreds of chapters and military installations worldwide briefed one million deploying service members and their families last year.

Military families can count on the Red Cross to provide emergency communications that link service members with their families back home, financial assistance in partnership with military aid societies, and information or referrals to community resources. Red Cross personnel form a global network in hundreds of U.S. chapters, military installations worldwide.

Budget $88,600
Category Human Services, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success
Cases are handled promptly by trained team-members 24/7/365.  Emergencies are professionally verified and documented.  Delicate communication occurs by trained and compassionate Red Cross staff and volunteers.
Long Term Success
When emergencies strike the families of our active military, they will have access to a range of support services delivered by Red Cross volunteers.  Delicate communication is handled by trained and compassionate volunteers who provide comfort to those affected and ensure the necessary supporting documentation is performed swiftly and accurately.
Program Success Monitoring
Services are initially made available through a toll free service. Calls are monitored and customer service levels are measured through a modern call center system.  Case work is performed by trained volunteers and staff who in addition to providing support at the height of the emergency, additionally follow up to monitor and record outcomes.
Program Success Examples
The Southwest Florida Chapter provides support to on average 600 Service to the Armed Forces cases per year.

The American Red Cross Disaster Program helps those impacted by disasters and emergencies overcome the initial crisis by providing food, shelter and other assistance. Disaster volunteers respond to house fires, brushfires, tornadoes, plane crashes and any other natural or man-made disasters that affect Southwest Florida. We engage in widespread preparedness and planning activities year round and provide community disaster education to ensure preparation and to mitigate human suffering and property loss. We offer continuous disaster training to staff and volunteers and we participate at the county, region, state and national level to assure that we are well prepared and represented in all phases of disaster readiness and response. Our recently launched Home Fire Campaign has provided free, installed smoke detectors and family disaster planning to over 700 individuals this year already.   All disaster services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at no charge to the recipient. 

Budget $706,373
Category Human Services, General/Other Emergency Assistance
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Short Term Success The local disaster response program ensures that victims of emergencies are provided with immediate needs such as shelter, food, clothing and physical and mental health services, including the human and material resources necessary to provide these services.
Long Term Success The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—across the street, across the country, and across the world—in emergencies. Disasters deprive victims of the most basic needs including food, shelter, clothing and essential medications. When disasters strike, the American Red Cross is there to respond, providing victims with the help they need so they can recover more quickly. We ensure communities have plans and are properly prepared for emergencies and disasters. 
Program Success Monitoring
Each year, the Red Cross responds to just under 70,000 disasters across the US.  We measure our work in terms of numbers of individuals and families served, type of assistance provided and the recovery rate of clients to pre-disaster levels. We rely on just over 600 active volunteers in Southwest Florida alone to carry out our mission and commit to extensive recruitment and training year round. Service delivery relies on the generosity of donors and each year we budget and raise the necessary funds to carry out our work.
Program Success Examples
Once every 3 days the American Red Cross is responding to a disaster in Southwest Florida. We provide shelter, feeding, comfort and care to those whose lives have been irrevocably changed by disaster.
Program Comments by Organization Since its founding in 1881, the American Red Cross has been the nation's premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters. Over the years, the organization has expanded its services, always with the aim of preventing and relieving suffering.

Today, in addition to domestic disaster relief, the American Red Cross offers compassionate services in five other areas: community services that help the needy; support and comfort for military members and their families; the collection, processing and distribution of lifesaving blood and blood products; educational programs that promote health and safety; and international relief and development programs.

The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors—across the street, across the country, and across the world—in emergencies.

CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Megarie DeLos van Sickel
CEO Term Start July 1999
CEO/Executive Director Email
Megarie D. van Sickel has served as the Chief Executive Officer for the newly consolidated Southwest Florida Chapter since July 2011. Prior to consolidation,  Megarie has been the Executive Director of the Charlotte County Chapter since 1999. Having joined the American Red Cross after many years of board involvement with a variety of nonprofit organizations throughout Florida, Megarie has guided a volunteer-led disaster team through a number of challenges including Hurricane Charley, the largest hurricane to strike Florida’s West Coast in 40 years. Under Megarie’s leadership, the 99 year old Chapter has grown to over 750 active volunteers responding to disasters, providing services to the armed forces and teaching life saving skills in this geographically diverse county. She has overseen the consolidation of three Chapters serving 1.4 million residents in Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Megarie has been recently elected to the position of Secretary of the Governor"s Hurricane Conference, and the local FEMA Grant Allocation Committee. Her leadership by example has helped the chapter to fulfill the mission of the American Red Cross to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.  She was awarded the Staff Spirit of Excellence Award in 2016.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Mr. Steven Guetschow Disaster Program Manager
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 5
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 750
Management Reports to Board No
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The American Red Cross works closely with a number of partners and agencies to help communities prepare for and respond to emergencies. We collaborate with FEMA, local EOC staffs, and organizations such as the Salvation Army to maximize capacity and readiness. A number of local businesses provide essential in-kind support to assist the Red Cross with everything from vehicle maintenance to re-stocking relief supplies. We coordinate volunteer recruitment activities with local corporations and community organizations including community foundations.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Terri Costa
Company Affiliation Williams, Parker, Harrison, Dietz & Getzen
Board Term July 2015 to June 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Brian Beason Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A.
Bruce Body Raymond James & Associates
Jim Boyd Horizon Real Estate & Investment
Kevin Bruning Bentley & Bruning, PA
Terri Costa Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen
Donna Dudash Northern Trust Co
Tim Hearon Boomerswork, Inc.
Ms. Cindy-Ann Hersom Volunteer
Mr. Garrett C. Moore Moore Financial Services
Brent Myers Brent J. Myers, CPA
David Sessions Willis A Smith Construction
Steve Sutter Sutter Roofing Co of Florida
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 9
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 70
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month July
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year End Month June
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $2,513,451.00
Projected Expenses $2,513,451.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$1,777,261$1,292,613$2,746,874
Investment Income, Net of Losses$11,813$8,676$10,824
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$34,183$24,944$35,243
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$1,266,171$1,205,913$1,280,183
Administration Expense$203,387$193,666$138,978
Fundraising Expense$0$0$133,031
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.711.312.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%86%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$0$0$0
Current Assets$0$0$0
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$0$0$0
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $1,777,261Contributions, gifts, grants $1,292,613Contributions, gifts, grants $2,746,874
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProducts & Services $332,475Products & Services $241,858Products & Services $269,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFederated Campaigns $299,855Fundraising $24,944Federated campaigns $150,064
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $75,001 - $100,000
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
As a national organization, we are fortunate to be able to consolidate back-office functions across the country in order to spend 91 cents of every dollar on direct humanitarian services. As part of this national network, we do file a single organization-wide 990 and audit.

While the strength of our national network is critical to our success, the Red Cross is, at the same time, built upon neighbors helping neighbors: local volunteers and local donors are the key to delivering emergency services to local families in need. As such, locally donated dollars are used first to support the needs of our local community where funds were donated. 
Financial Comments by Foundation
Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990 or audit. 
Where available, financial figures are taken from the sections from the audited financial statements pertaining solely to the Southwest Florida Chapter. Starting in TY 2012, the audited financial statements were reported on a consolidated basis (nationwide) and financial information for  Southwest Florida was obtained from the local organization.  IRS Form 990s share financials for the national organization. 
Nonprofit American Red Cross
Address 2001 Cantu Court
Sarasota, FL 34232
Phone 941 379-9300 222