Every year, all year long, the American Red Cross is busy around the country—and the world. Since it’s difficult to recount all the events that made this year memorable for the Red Cross, here is just a brief look at our work in 2010.
The new year had barely begun when a massive earthquake hit Haiti on January 12. From the earliest hours of the disaster, it was clear that it would require a historic response from relief organizations around the world. Since then, the global Red Cross network has been hard at work providing clean drinking water, food, transitional shelters, health services and more. You can read much more about our relief and recovery activities in Haiti by visiting www.redcross.org/haiti.
Flooding was the story across several regions of the country last spring. In March and April, floods hit several states in the northeast, including Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Tennessee was swamped with record-setting rains, which flooded neighborhoods and drove thousands from their homes. The Red Cross responded by giving people a safe place to stay, hot meals, comfort and clean-up kits, and emotional support.
The Red Cross began the summer by helping military families, launching the first of six events that will help thousands of military families and service members get prepared for emergencies. On a warm June day at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, the Red Cross gave out 1,500 free emergency preparedness kits that included radios, flashlights, water jugs and first aid kits.
Although the 2010 hurricane season was very active, luckily the United States was spared from direct landfalls. However, these storms still brought heavy wind and rain, along with threats of tornadoes and flooding. Hurricane Alex forced people to seek refuge in southern Texas, and later in the summer, residents along the east coast rode out Hurricane Earl at Red Cross shelters.
Summer also brought the threat of fires to California and Colorado. In both states, the Red Cross provided shelter for residents who had to evacuate their homes and assistance for those whose homes were destroyed.
With the nip of cooler weather in the air, it was time to plan for the holidays. More specifically, it was once again time to invite the public to take part in Holiday Mail for Heroes.
For the fourth year in a row, the Red Cross teamed up with Pitney Bowes to help sort and distribute hundreds of thousands of greeting cards to service members, veterans and military families around the world. Thanks to the goodwill of the American people, these cards brought joy and a touch of home to countless people in 2010.
These activities and events were all in addition to the work we do year-round: supplying almost half of the nation's blood; teaching lifesaving skills; providing international humanitarian aid; supporting military members and their families; and feeding, sheltering and giving emotional support to victims of disasters. Read more about the work of the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org.