[Buffalo NY, December 20, 2022] — 2022 has been a year of crisis for families in western New York, the United States, and around the world — from extreme climate disasters to global emergencies like the conflict in Ukraine, to a mass casualty event in Buffalo, to the first-ever national American Red Cross blood crisis.
“Whether a crisis is felt by an entire community or a single person, it turns lives upside down — especially for the most vulnerable,” said Nick Bond, Chief Executive Officer for the American Red Cross of Western New York. “This holiday season, we invite the community to join us to provide help and hope for people in need during future emergencies by making a financial donation or by giving blood. Our dedicated volunteers have truly made an impact in a trying year, and our mission-driven work is not possible without the generous support of our community.”
As the holiday season reaches its height, those interested can visit redcross.org to make a financial donation, or an appointment to give blood or platelets for patients in the U.S. Examples of how Red Cross volunteers and services have impacted our communities in western New York can be found at our 2022 Year in Review webpage. Those interested in joining the Red Cross volunteer workforce and being available to help their neighbors in times of great need can call 716-886-7500, email RecruitWNY@redcross.org, or visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.
RESPONDING TO DISASTERS OF ALL SIZES: This year’s extreme disasters in the U.S. are clear examples of the increasing frequency and intensity of the climate crisis. So far in 2022, 15 disasters with costs exceeding $1 billion have upended lives across the country — more than twice the number of billion-dollar disasters that struck annually two decades ago.
For these and tens of thousands of other disasters in across the country and in western New York, Red Cross volunteers have worked 24/7 to provide shelter, food, and care — including responses to 881 disaster events in our 27-county region. Most of those responses are related to home fires, at which Red Cross volunteers provide immediate aid and comfort to individuals and families impacted, and for large scale disasters such as the mass shooting incident at a Tops Supermarket in Buffalo and the recent lake-effect snowstorm that buried parts of western New York with more than six feet of snow and left hundreds seeking safe shelter.
HELPING FAMILIES AFFECTED BY GLOBAL EMERGENCIES: Internationally, the conflict in Ukraine has forced millions of people to flee for their lives. With such vast needs, the American Red Cross has provided financial donations and international crisis responders to support the global Red Cross network’s response on the ground, which spans more than a dozen neighboring countries to deliver food, shelter, medical care, emotional support, and other critical aid for displaced families.
Meanwhile, the American Red Cross has also provided financial support to the ongoing hunger crisis in Africa. Overall, this year, as part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, the American Red Cross provided humanitarian aid in more than 108 countries.
OVERCOMING THE FIRST-EVER RED CROSS BLOOD CRISIS In January 2022, the Red Cross experienced its worst national blood shortage in over a decade, due to ongoing collection challenges and varied hospital demand during the pandemic. Patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions relied on an outpouring of support from hundreds of thousands of generous blood donors to overcome the crisis.
Beyond national headlines, the need for blood is constant, as one in seven patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion. Every day, Red Cross blood donors are the lifeline for car accident victims, parents with complicated childbirths, individuals battling cancer and people with sickle cell disease. During its last completed fiscal year, the Red Cross of Western New York held nearly 2,500 blood drives, collecting approximately 56,000 units of life-saving blood products.
PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR MILITARY MEMBERS AND FAMILIES: The American Red Cross has a long and storied partnership with the Armed Forces of the United States and holds a Congressional Charter to provide certain support services. During its last fiscal year, ending June 30, 2022, the Red Cross of Western New York Services to the Armed Forces Program provided nearly 3,500 case services to active and retired military and their families. These included emergency communication to connect those deployed overseas with their families, sessions in coping with the unique challenges of military life, and programs designed to provide support and camaraderie to veterans being treated or in hospice care in VA hospitals.
Visit 2022 Year in Review for more information about how the American Red Cross of Western New York helped people throughout our 27 counties, spanning Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton and the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions in 2022.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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 redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.