With 2016 a record year for weather-related, devastating disasters, the American Red Cross is appealing to the public to “Give Something That Means Something” by donating to the Red Cross Holiday Giving campaign to support people in their darkest hours: whether someone who has lost everything in a disaster, a hospital patient who needs blood, or a military family facing an emergency this holiday season.
“2016 was a hard year for Louisiana,” said Joshua Joachim, Louisiana chief executive for the Red Cross. “We’ve endured back-to-back historic flooding in March and August, as well as deadly tornadoes in February; these national disasters affected almost every parish this past year, and some multiple times. Thanks to the power of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors, the Red Cross was there to provide relief to our neighbors during their time of great need.”
Through these three large-scale disasters, Red Cross volunteers:
- Managed and assisted 100+ shelters
- Provided 80,000+ overnight stays
- Distributed roughly 800,000 relief items
- Served more than 1.5 million meals and snacks
Even during such a year as 2016 in Louisiana, the most common disaster the Red Cross responds to is a home fire, caring for neighbors who suddenly have lost their home. The Red Cross also has been working to counter the tragedy that is the high rate of service member suicides in our state. This past year, the Red Cross in Louisiana saw a 1000% increase in enrollment in its Reconnection Workshops, designed to help military members reengage with family and civilian life.
The Red Cross Holiday Giving Campaign offers a way to donate gifts that uniquely give back while supporting the organization’s mission. Individuals can choose from three essential giving opportunities:
- Gifts that help disaster victims: blankets, hot meals, or a full day of emergency shelter
- Gifts that help our military: comfort kits for service members, therapy support programs for ill and injured service members, veterans, and their families
- Gifts that help internationally: vaccinations to save children’s lives around the world
How does the gift giving work? Through the Holiday Campaign, donors can give symbolic gifts, within a wide range of budgets, in honor of a loved one, colleague or client.
- A donation of $25 can provide blankets—as well as warmth and a sense of security—for five people staying in emergency shelters, while a $75 contribution can show our heroes and veterans that we care by providing military comfort kits to 30 service members.
- A $30 gift can provide hot meals for three people following a disaster, while a $50 donation can supply a full day of emergency shelter with urgently needed essentials, including 3 meals, 2 blankets, 1 cot, snacks and personal hygiene supplies for someone impacted by disaster.
- A financial contribution of $100 can educate families and vaccinate 100 children against measles and rubella—while a $500 gift can vaccinate an entire village.
These are a few of the most popular items from the Red Cross Holiday Giving effort. In addition to the free electronic or greeting cards, donors who contribute more than $125 will receive a Red Cross thank you gift while supplies last.
To access the catalog online, visit redcross.org/gifts. Choose from the diverse assortment of symbolic gifts, and make a tax-deductible donation online or, call 1-800 RED CROSS to support the corresponding Red Cross services. Then, send a card to the friend, family member, co-worker or customer being honored by your donation. It’s that easy.
“It’s such a gratifying feeling to give something that brings help and hope to those who need it most,” says Gail McGovern, American Red Cross president and CEO. “The Red Cross Holiday Giving Campaign offers both gift-givers and receivers the opportunity to experience the joy of giving this holiday season by supporting a family who’s lost everything to disaster, providing comfort to our service members and veterans, or helping to vaccinate a child overseas against deadly diseases.”
About our Corporate Holiday Supporters:
During this holiday season, the American Red Cross is grateful for those corporate donors that generously contribute to our Holiday Giving Campaign. They include Circle K West Coast and Florida Divisions and Mazda and its Dealers. Thanks to the generosity of these and other supporters, the Red Cross is able to bring help and hope to people across the country. To learn more about our corporate holiday supporters, visit redcross.org/corporate-holiday-supporters.
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 orcruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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