Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana has given the Red Cross of Montana a $20,000 gift to support the organization’s work during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Blue Cross recently announced the recipients of a $1 million fund it established to assist Montanans during this difficult and uncertain time.
“Our mission is to provide a boost to organizations who are on the front lines of dealing with this pandemic, whether providing direct care or strengthening services that are needed now more than ever,” said John Doran, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana divisional vice president of External Affairs.
The gift will help Montana Red Cross collect and distribute lifesaving blood and meet families’ most immediate needs following disasters, work that has become more costly and difficult during the pandemic.
The American Red Cross provides 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply but because of business and school closures and social distancing brought on by COVID-19, thousands of blood drives have been canceled across the country, including many in Montana. This gift will help Montana Red Cross increase its capacity at its existing blood drives and continue measures that ensure the safety of donors and staff.
The gift also will help the Red Cross respond to disasters across Montana, most of them home fires. Since March 1, Red Cross has responded to 50 disasters in Montana and Idaho, including a recent apartment fire in Great Falls that displaced more than 25 families.
With mass sheltering in facilities like churches and gyms no longer possible because of social distancing, the cost to provide lodging to families following larger-scale disasters is increasing.
“This incredibly timely and generous gift will help us continue to fulfill our mission as we face the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19,” Montana Red Cross Executive Director Diane Wright said. “On behalf of those we both serve, we thank Blue Cross and Blue Shield for standing with us during this critical time.”
To learn more about the Red Cross of Montana, schedule a blood donation appointment or become a volunteer, visit www.montanaredcross.org or call 800-272-6668.