In 2021, as families faced the continuing and overlapping challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and global conflict, people stepped up through the Red Cross to care for those in need.
Here are some highlights of this year’s work made possible by generous donors, volunteers and partners:
- Delivering disaster relief in the U.S.: During one of the country’s most active years of severe weather, families displaced by major disasters spent an average of nearly 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter. These extended stays were largely due to a lack of savings and community housing shortages — signs that climate-driven disasters are compounding the financial hardships of the pandemic. See this infographic to learn more about how generous support helped disaster survivors in the U.S.
- Providing lifesaving blood: To meet the increasing needs of hospital patients, the Red Cross distributed 250,000 more blood products in 2021 than last year, until the delta variant began to spread in August. Generous blood donors make this work possible — and donations are needed now to meet the immediate needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
- Supporting military and veteran families: When the challenges of COVID-19 and conflict took a toll on military, veteran and caregiver communities, the Red Cross assisted more than 210,000 people by providing resiliency courses designed for the unique stressors of military life, supporting military and veteran caregivers through our peer mentor program, and helping military families communicate with their loved ones and facilitate their return home during emergencies through our Hero Care Network.
- Helping vulnerable families at home and abroad: Massive humanitarian needs emerged for a growing number of displaced families, and at the request of federal government partners, Red Cross workers distributed more than 2.1 million essential items — like blankets, diapers, medicine and toys — for evacuees from Afghanistan and others in need. In addition, the Red Cross provided medical assistance, emotional support and critical care items for migrants in distress in the Mediterranean Sea. Our International Services teams also worked around the globe, helping to reconnect families separated by war, disaster or migration through our Restoring Family Links program.
- Teaching lifesaving skills: The Red Cross saw a 22% spike in enrollments for online courses in first aid, CPR/AED and other lifesaving skills — after doubling in 2020 from pre-pandemic levels. The over 630,000 people who enrolled in online courses this year included health care and other workers who depend on Red Cross training for their job certification requirements — as well as those wanting to learn critical skills, such as babysitting, caregiving and returning to work safely during the pandemic.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Turning compassion into action has been at the heart of the American Red Cross since Clara Barton founded our organization over 140 years ago. In honor of Clara’s 200th birthday on December 25, help people in need by donating at redcross.org/gift. A gift of any size provides hope during a crisis.
Patients are also counting on the kindness and generosity of blood donors. This holiday season, we urge you to give blood or platelets to help make a lifesaving difference for those in need. Visit RedCrossBlood.org to schedule an appointment today.
You can also give the gift of time. Visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday to review our most urgently needed volunteer positions.
CORPORATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP YEAR-ROUND
Our Mission Leaders are an elite group of companies or organizations that commit $3 million annually to the mission of the American Red Cross. While each partnership is different, these Mission Leaders have made truly transformational gifts in support of our vital work: Amazon; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
The generous donations from members of the Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) and the Disaster Responder Program enable the American Red Cross to prepare communities for disasters big and small, respond whenever and wherever disasters occur and help families during the recovery process.
ADGP $1 Million members are: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Anthem Foundation; Bank of America; Caterpillar Foundation; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; The Home Depot Foundation; Latter-day Saint Charities; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Global; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
ADGP $500,000 members are: Altria Group; Aon; Best Buy; Calmoseptine, Inc.; Capital One; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental Community Care Foundation; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Corporation; General Motors; HCA Healthcare; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; LHC Group; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Mastercard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; PayPal; PepsiCo Foundation; PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Salesforce; Southeastern Grocers Gives Foundation & Southeastern Grocers, home of Fresco y Más, Harveys Supermarket and Winn-Dixie; Stanley Black & Decker; Target; The TJX Companies, Inc.; Toyota; United Airlines; UPS; USAA; Visa Foundation; The Walt Disney Company; and The Wawa Foundation.
Disaster Responder Program members are: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; Alliance Data; American Express; Ameriprise Financial, Inc.; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; The Ball Foundation; Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; CarMax; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; CSX; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Dollar General; Duke Energy; Equitable; FirstEnergy Foundation; Grainger; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Humble Bundle; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Mattress Firm; McKesson; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation; Old Dominion Freight Line; Procter & Gamble; Prudential Financial; Raytheon Technologies; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Foundation; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; ServiceNow, Inc.; Southwest Airlines; U-Haul International; and U.S. Bank Foundation.