Parkland, Fla., February 15, 2018 – The American Red Cross is partnering with local authorities and organizations to continue the support to the families and communities affected by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The American Red Cross opened a family resource center at Parkland Recreation Center located at 10559 Trails End in Parkland. We will be providing emotional support, spiritual care and food for the entire community. We will also support and partner in community events.
While we do not typically serve hospitals in South Florida, the Red Cross provided 50 units of type O negative blood to support hospitals in response to the shooting. We stand ready to provide additional blood and blood products as needed. It’s the blood that is already on the shelves that helps during an emergency. Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. The Red Cross has an adequate blood supply to respond to this tragedy and is grateful for all donors who generously give blood throughout the country.
The Red Cross understands that people around the country want to help and appreciates that support. Right now, the Red Cross has what it needs to support the community and is not accepting financial donations designated specifically for this event. We are partnering with the Broward Education Foundation. If you would like to donate, please go to their GoFundMe Page established for the Victims and Families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The official GoFundMe page was launched on behalf of Broward County Public Schools.
We are asking people to not collect and send items like stuffed animals or dolls, blankets, clothing, water and food. It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute these items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected.
COPING AND PREPAREDNESS TIPS
This is a difficult time for everyone affected and it’s important for people to connect with and support each other. The Red Cross offers the following tips to help people stay strong:
• Events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next. Remember that it's okay to feel nervous.
• Stay informed but limit media exposure of the events, especially for children. Children are especially vulnerable to stress reactions related to media.
• Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure them about their safety. Talk with them in ways that they can easily understand. Let them guide the conversation; share details only when they ask about them.
• Be patient with yourself and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
• Spend more time with family and friends and offer your support. Hug one another and listen.
• Watch for signs of stress in your family, friends and children. Get help from others if needed.
• Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
• To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746
PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES
This tragedy shows that emergencies can happen in any community at any time. And it’s critical to know what to do when an emergency occurs. Check information at the above link to learn how to get your household prepared. Register for a Red Cross First Aid and CPR/AED course at redcross.org so that you can be better prepared to help in future emergencies. People can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/southflorida or visit us on Twitter at @SFLRedCross.