MIAMI, November 8, 2017 — The American Red Cross has received a half a million-dollar gift from French businessman and philanthropist Bernard Darty on behalf of American veterans. This is the largest single gift ever received by the Red Cross designated specifically for its military and veteran’s programs. Darty was inspired to make the donation in honor of the U.S. Armed Forces who liberated France and saved the lives of his family after World War II.
“The Red Cross is grateful to Mr. Darty for this most generous gift.” said Koby Langley, senior vice president for the Service to the Armed Forces division of the American Red Cross. “A gift of this magnitude will allow the Red Cross to continue to provide vital emergency support services through the Hero Call Center and critical community services to the members of the military, veterans and their families. It will also allow us to innovate and develop new programs to meet the ever-changing needs of today’s military and tomorrow’s veterans.”
In a letter to the Red Cross, Darty tells the moving story of how he survived the war as the youngest son of a Jewish family living in Paris during the German occupation. After seeing the devastation caused by multiple disasters in the United States, he felt compelled to give back to American soldiers who secured his freedom.
“In giving this donation, I want to thank Americans with all my heart for coming to rescue us in our hour of need,” Darty explained in his letter. Darty also wanted to make a public stand in support of Americans, he hopes his gift serves as a reminder of all that the U.S. did for so many Europeans, and that others are inspired to give.
“There is no doubt that there are other families throughout Europe who feel just as we do and who have the ability to make similar donations,” said Darty “We are hoping that this will be the start of a fundraising effort honoring America’s veterans.”
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 www.redcross.org/southflorida or visit us on Twitter at @SFLRedCross.