The American Red Cross is responding to the marathon bombings in Boston, working with officials to help ensure people get the help they need.
The Red Cross is providing food, water, emotional support and spiritual care services to the injured, their families and emergency responders. Emergency response vehicles are mobilized and more than 100 trained workers are providing support and comfort. Since Monday they have served 5,000 meals and snacks and handed out dozens of relief items like blankets and comfort kits. The Red Cross will continue to work in close coordination with officials in Boston to determine how to best help the community and support emergency workers, especially at upcoming memorial services and community vigils.
Disaster workers greeted nearly 500 runners Tuesday as they arrived at the multi-service center coordinated by the Boston Office of Emergency Management. Runners were able to receive their medals and claim the bags they abandoned when diverted from the race route. Red Cross mental health volunteers circulated among those present, providing emotional support and even stuffed toys to children who came in with their parents. The Red Cross also helped coordinate unexpected needs like rescheduling flights and working with international consulates to help locate foreign nationals who had not yet checked in with loved ones.
BLOOD SERVICES The Red Cross has also provided about 500 units of blood and blood products to hospitals in the Boston area. Blood supplies are currently sufficient to meet patient needs and people who want to give blood are strongly encouraged to schedule a donation appointment in the days and weeks ahead. Donations historically drop as the summer months approach, so now would be a great time to schedule a donation to help ensure there is enough blood available this summer.
People are advised that wait times at blood drives and donation centers could be a bit longer than usual in the days ahead. If someone wants to give blood they can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org. If someone would like to give blood, they must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We understand that people around the country want to help and we appreciate that nationwide show of support. Right now, the American Red Cross has what it needs to support this event both financially and with an adequate local blood supply. People who may want to provide other support to the Red Cross can consider taking one of these actions: