This year’s extreme disasters are prime examples of how families are bearing the brunt of the climate crisis in the U.S., where American Red Cross volunteers have worked 24/7 to provide shelter, food and care.
For many, the free services provided by Red Cross volunteers are a lifeline, especially for those who are already struggling to pay the bills and coping with serious health and disability needs.
For example, while Red Cross emergency shelters are meant to be temporary, this year some shelters have operated for nearly two months to help people in need. A lack of affordable housing has driven this demand following disasters such as Hurricane Ian, severe floods in Kentucky and wildfires out West, where volunteers responded non-stop for six months to ongoing blazes.
Learn more in this infographic about how the Red Cross helped people affected by disasters in 2022.
‘I’M COMFORTABLE HERE’ Robert Franks is just one of the people making up the more than 95,000 overnight shelter stays that the Red Cross and partners have provided this year following large disasters across the country. He sought refuge the day Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida.
Franks, who is 84 years old and has lived in Florida his entire life, has survived countless hurricanes. But Ian felt different, he said. Plus, he’s on oxygen and knew he wouldn’t do well without electricity.
Talking to Red Cross volunteer Cynthia Myatt, his spirits were high. As the two sat in the school library and talked, he said the books reminded him of his school days. “I feel like I’m a kid again being in this library with all these books. I’m comfortable here,” he said.
‘WE’RE CLOSER THAN EVER’ Families like Ethel and George Dearinger have sought refuge after other disasters too. Earlier this year, they stayed at a Red Cross shelter for a couple of weeks when wildfires displaced them from their New Mexico home.
At the shelter, the couple spent their time with their neighbors Mary and Dave. “This brought us together,” Ethel said. “We used to just say ‘hi’ and ‘how are you’ at the grocery store, now we’re closer than ever.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP Our lifesaving mission wouldn’t be possible without volunteers and donors. This holiday season, turn your compassion into action by donating at redcross.org/gift. A donation of any size makes a difference. You can also register to become a volunteer.
This story is part of a special series on how people responded to crises in 2022 through the American Red Cross. Read our 2022 year-in-review press release to learn more.
CORPORATIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS HELP YEAR-ROUND 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, responding whenever and wherever disasters occur and helping families during the recovery process.
Current ADGP $1M Members are: Amazon; American Airlines; Anheuser-Busch Foundation; Bank of America; Best Buy; Caterpillar Foundation; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Costco Wholesale; Delta Air Lines; Elevance Health Foundation; Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation; FedEx; Lilly Endowment Inc.; Lowe's Companies, Inc.; McDonald’s Corporation; Microsoft Corp.; Nationwide Foundation; PayPal; PetSmart Charities; The Starbucks Foundation; State Farm; Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited; Truist Foundation; VSP Vision; Walmart and the Walmart Foundation; and Wells Fargo.
Current ADGP $500K Members are: Altria Group; American Express; Aon; Bread Financial; Calmoseptine, Inc.; Capital One; CarMax; Citi Foundation; The Clorox Company; Darden Foundation; Delta Dental; Dollar General; Edison International; Energy Transfer/Sunoco Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; Fox Corporation; General Motors; Google.org The Home Depot Foundation; International Paper; The J.M. Smucker Company; Johnson Controls Foundation; The Kroger Co. Foundation; Liberty Mutual Insurance; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Mastercard; Merck; Mondelēz International Foundation; New Balance Foundation; Organon; PepsiCo Foundation; 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.
Current Disaster Responder $250K Members: 7-Eleven Cares Foundation; Adobe; The AES Corporation; Ameriprise Financial; Assurant; AT&T; AvalonBay Communities, Inc.; Avangrid Foundation; Barclays; Big 5 Sporting Goods; CDW; Choice Hotels International; Cisco Foundation; CNA Insurance; The Coca-Cola Company; CSX; The DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Discover; Duke Energy; Dutch Bros Foundation; Equitable; FirstEnergy Corporation; Gopuff; Harbor Freight Tools Foundation, LLC; HCA Healthcare; Hewlett Packard Enterprise Foundation; HP Foundation; Kaiser Permanente; Kimberly-Clark Corporation; The Kraft Heinz Company Foundation; The Labcorp Charitable Foundation; Lenovo Foundation; LHC Group; Major League Baseball; Marathon Petroleum Foundation, Inc.; Martin Marietta; Mattress Firm; McKesson Foundation; MetLife Foundation; Neiman Marcus Group; NextEra Energy, Inc.; Northrop Grumman; Northwestern Mutual; Old Dominion Freight Line; Pacific Life Foundation; Procter & Gamble; Prudential; Raytheon Technologies; Reckitt; Rodan + Fields Prescription for Change Project, a project of New Venture Fund; Ross Stores Foundation; Ryder System, Inc.; San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Security Finance’s Lending Hand Foundation; ServiceNow; Southwest Airlines; Tata Consultancy Services; U-Haul International; U.S. Bank Foundation; and Zurich.