The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the entire American Red Cross family are with all those affected by Sunday night’s tragic shooting in Las Vegas. The Red Cross is working in close coordination with emergency officials to provide comfort and support.
Red Cross workers are at the family assistance center to provide food, water, mental health, health services and spiritual care. This support includes trained grief counselors and spiritual care providers connecting with loved ones struggling to come to terms with this tragedy.
“It’s an opportunity to see the best of people,” said Red Cross Disaster Spiritual Care Volunteer Linda Walsh-Garrison. “I feel that we all get our turn, and it’s important that we can take care of each other.”
Over the coming days, the Red Cross will continue to coordinate closely with local officials and community partners to determine how to best support the Las Vegas community and the loved ones of those who have been harmed.
GIVE BLOOD IN DAYS AND WEEKS AHEAD
With the help of generous donors, the Red Cross has an adequate blood supply to respond to this tragedy in Las Vegas. Volunteer blood and platelet donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. This tragedy illustrates that it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency.
Following the shooting, the Red Cross provided more than 450 additional blood products to local hospitals to help those injured and is ready to provide more blood and blood products as needed in response to this tragedy.
Red Cross blood donations will become part of the Red Cross national blood inventory, helping to ensure we are prepared for any blood needs that arise wherever blood is needed. Eligible individuals can make an appointment to give blood and platelets, particularly needed, in the coming weeks and months by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. The Red Cross is grateful for all donors who generously give blood and platelets throughout the country.
YOUR SUPPORT APPRECIATED
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 this event.
While the Red Cross is not accepting financial donations designated specifically for this event, the public’s help is always needed to support the nearly 64,000 other disasters we respond to every year around the country. Donations for Red Cross Disaster Relief are used to help people and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org for more information.
If people want to make a donation to support the victims, please consider the Las Vegas Victims Fund or the National Compassion Fund.The Las Vegas Victims Fund, through GoFundMe, was created by Steve Sisolak, chair of the Clark County Commission. The National Compassion Fund, a 501(c)(3), is accepting donations at nationalcompassionfund.org or by texting VEGAS to 20222 to donate $10.
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.
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. Even as first responders rushed into help, much of the initial care to the injured was provided by people nearby. 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 that puts free and simple lifesaving information in the hands of smartphone and tablet users. The app is available in app stores by searching for American Red Cross.
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 Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746