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 Mr. Steve Sutter
Board Chair Affiliation Sutter Roofing Co of Florida
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 Exempt 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 to those who have lost everything. The Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross responds to local disasters in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, DeSoto and Hardee Counties.  
  • The newest programs of the Chapter include the Home Fire Campaign, with the intended goal to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% over a 5 year period.  We are currently in year four and to have have documented saving more than 330 lives nation-wide by way of this program.  Through this program our most at-risk neighborhoods are identified and team of volunteers canvas the neighborhood, installing free smoke alarms, helping families understand and develop an plan to get out alive in-case of a fire and teach them lifesaving strategies for other emergencies including hurricanes, flooding and severe thunderstorms. 
  • Another aspect of the Home Fire Campaign is the Pillowcase project which teaches emergency preparedness to children grades 3rd through 6th graders. In-turn the children take the preparedness message home to their parents, thus sparking the interest in getting ready for disaster.


  • Fall of 2017, the Red Cross launched relief operations after two named storms affected our communities -- Hurricane Irma and Tropical Storm Emily. Additionally, we provided support to thousands of evacuees of Hurricane Maria who arrived in our state. Local disaster relief teams also responded to a variety of emergencies including localized flooding, tornadoes, sinkholes and Florida wildfires.
  • For disaster support within the State, more than 400 volunteers were utilized during 2017; most of these were for Hurricane Irma response. Total Irma relief efforts included more than 550,000 overnight shelter stays, more than 1.5 million meals and snacks served with partners, more than 1 million relief items distributed and more than 52,600 health and mental health contacts made.
  • For the home Fire Campaign we made more than 400 households safer, serving  860 families and installed nearly 1,900 smoke alarms.
  • Over 5,000 residents of Southwest Floridians  were trained in vital life-saving skills.
  • Emergency communication services were provided for more than 200 active members of the Armed Forces and their families.
  • More than  7,000 residents were provided with Community Disaster Education.


  • 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 by meeting their immediate needs for food, clothing, shelter and essential medicine.
  • Recruit and train new disaster volunteers. 
  • Recruit, train and promote volunteers into leadership positions for 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 for which the community depends.  Our greatest single need is for sustainable support for the Disaster Assistance Teams - trained volunteers who are on-call to respond 24/7 and 365 days/year.
  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 "Pedro" teaching Kindergarten through 2nd grade students emergency preparedness, not only helps these young people be prepared but they in-turn take these skills home for the benefit of their family. 
  3. Service to the Armed ForcesProvides emergency communication services to the families of military members and provides networking support to active military, veterans and their families. By extending this assistance to families at home through pre-deployment briefings, post-deployment workshops and other educational courses, we provide a circle of care upon which military personnel depend.
  4. Nurses Assistant Training Program-This program provides career opportunities in healthcare for individuals with limited professional skills training and is often a stepping-stone to nursing certification.  A $10,000 donation to this program will provide scholarships to local students.  Any size donation will support the operating expenses of this important program.
Background Statement



The American Red Cross is the only non-profit agency that meets disaster victims on their front lawn in the immediate aftermath of disaster. Without disaster assistance from trained American Red Cross volunteers, many families would have no place to go on the night they've lost their homes.

The Red Cross was chartered by the United States Congress to "carry on a system of national and international relief in time of peace and apply the same in mitigating the sufferings caused by pestilence, famine, fire, floods, and other great national calamities, and to devise and carry on measures for preventing the same." The Charter is unique to the Red Cross because it assigns duties and obligations to our organization alone, despite not being a government agency and without receiving government funding to support our disaster relief efforts.

Most disaster victims are at risk of homelessness, hardship, and/or a transition to poverty if they do not receive assistance following a disaster. The American Red Cross has fostered strong partnerships with local fire departments and emergency management officials to ensure that our volunteers are called the moment a disaster occurs and a family needs support. We provide thorough training to our disaster response volunteers so that they can be available 24/7 to answer the call from the fire department or emergency management officials to provide relief to families in the immediate aftermath of disaster.

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
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; including the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
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

As the Board Chair for the Southwest Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross, I am proud to play a small part in the leadership of this incredible organization.  I have come to realize that every time I turn on the news and see a disaster unfolding, whether pictured or not, the Red Cross is there.  Seeing first-hand the compassion and commitment of the staff and wonderful volunteers is beyond comprehension unless you have experienced the Red Cross first-hand.  I am fortunate to have had such an experience, particularly during the disasters of 2017.  I am humbled by the work of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors.

Steve Sutter

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. 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.


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 100 year old Chapter has grown to over 350 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 serves as 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 3
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 350
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 (which includes All Faiths Food Bank, Southern Baptist Men's Disaster Relief, and Salvation Army) 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 Mr. Steve Sutter
Company Affiliation Sutter Roofing Co of Florida
Board Term July 2017 to June 2019
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Bruce Body Raymond James & Associates
Jim Boyd Horizon Real Estate & Investment
Kevin Bruning Bentley & Bruning, PA
Terri Costa Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen
Lee DeLeito Michael Sanders and Company
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 Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 50
Standing Committees
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 2017
Fiscal Year End Month June
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $1,434,630.00
Projected Expenses $1,434,630.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$795,043$0$0
Individual Contributions$7,873,203$1,777,261$1,292,613
Investment Income, Net of Losses$21,856$11,813$8,676
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$34,183$24,944
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$8,749,696$1,266,171$1,205,913
Administration Expense$1,955,227$203,387$193,666
Fundraising Expense$649,471$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.001.711.31
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%86%86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue7%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
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 Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $7,873,203Contributions, gifts, grants $1,777,261Contributions, gifts, grants $1,292,613
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProducts and Services $1,752,697Products & Services $332,475Products & Services $241,858
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndirect Public Support $844,902Federated Campaigns $299,855Fundraising $24,944
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $75,001 - $100,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
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.  For 2016, the audited financial statements provide operating revenues and expenses for the Central Florida Region and not Southwest Florida.  Contributions for 2016 include corporate and foundation support as they are not separately stated in the financial statements.
Nonprofit American Red Cross
Address 2001 Cantu Court
Sarasota, FL 34232
Phone 941 379-9300 222