Christine Welch, Communications Director
Donation will build upon previous $1 million dollar donation and will support multiple programs
SAN DIEGO — July 24, 2023 — The American Red Cross Southern California Region is pleased to announce that San Diego-based philanthropists Teresa and Byron Pollitt have committed another $1 million donation over the next two years to support the Red Cross mission.
This donation has been made in addition to a previous $1 million donation from the Pollitts in 2020, bringing their cumulative giving to well over $2 million in support of the Red Cross mission. The Pollitts have been involved with the organization for over three decades and are passionate about investing in advancements for the non-profit organization to continue preventing and alleviating human suffering amid crises big and small.
Over the next two years, the Pollitt’s $1 million donation will support local, national, and international Red Cross programs and services, including:
- The Hero Care Network: provides confidential emergency communication, resources and assistance to veterans, military members and their families.
- The San Diego Hug-a-Hero Program: brings comfort to military families and their children by providing children with a doll in the image of their deploying parent.
- Blood Collection Services: funds the purchase of a Power Red Machine and community emergency vehicle – both powerful tools to help the Red Cross collect blood and ensure safe transport of blood products along their lifesaving journey—from collection to testing and processing to their ultimate destination of helping people during medical crises.
- The Sickle Cell Initiative: supports the Red Cross Sickle Cell Initiative and funds the purchase of an Ortho Vision Instrument, which will help the Red Cross perform automated phenotyping to meet the needs of blood recipients more efficiently and effectively throughout the region.
- Community Preparedness and Recovery: funding to support financial assistance for those affected by home fires, as well as funding for the purchase of smoke alarms for use in the region’s Home Fire Campaign, which provides free smoke alarms and home fire education for community members.
- International Services: funding for a Geneva fundraising volunteer who will serve the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), specifically supporting global fundraising efforts.
- Disaster Workforce in Vulnerable Areas: will help the Red Cross make significant staffing investments to build capacity in chapters and regions, enhancing the organization’s ability to serve the increasing number of people and locales affected by disasters.
“We are grateful to Teresa and Byron for their incredible generosity and desire to build on their steadfast foundation of support,” said Sean Mahoney, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Southern California Region. “This gift supports capabilities and capacity across our mission set, including disaster prevention and response, blood collection, Service to the Armed Forces and international services.”
Since joining the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties in October 2019, Teresa Pollitt has chaired the local Red Cross Real Heroes Awards event and served as the Chapter Chair of the Tiffany Circle in San Diego. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Philanthropy Committee and Vice Chair of the Chapter Board of Directors. In addition, Teresa is a member of the Tiffany Circle National Council and is serving as Co-Chair of the 2023 Tiffany Circle Summit. The Tiffany Circle is a community of women leaders who advance the American Red Cross mission through a focused investment of time, talent and treasure by engaging and embracing women locally, nationally and internationally.
Byron Pollitt volunteers as a Senior Advisor to the American Red Cross International Services Division. He previously served on the Finance Commission of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and on the Red Cross Board of Directors for both Orange County and the San Francisco Bay Area.
The Pollitts are also long-time blood donors with the Red Cross, having donated blood with the organization for over 30 years.
“There are few feelings that are as fulfilling as the one when we can contribute our time, our talent, our treasure — and our blood — to an organization like the Red Cross,” says Byron.
For more information about the American Red Cross Southern California Region, please visit redcross.org/SoCal.
About the American Red Cross Southern California Region
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 public to perform its mission. The Red Cross Southern California Region proudly serves San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties. In addition to carrying out disaster preparedness and response programs, blood collection, health and safety training, international services programs and supporting the military community, the Southern California Region provides nutritional counseling through its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in San Diego and helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters through its Prepare SoCal and Prepare San Diego initiatives. For more information, please visit redcross.org/SoCal or cruzrojaamericana.org, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.