A gift that can make a difference

By Sue Wilson, Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties Chapter board of director. Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer. 

The holiday season is a time for family and festivities. It is also a time for shopping. Yep . . . starting today with Black Friday, we will be overwhelmed with “deals” filling our inboxes, mailboxes, TV screens and news feeds. We will see and hear ads on every media source out there rivaled only by the political ads we just made it through.

183401-18-Holiday-Campaign-2018_Social-Media-Plan_Facebook-Post-Graphic_2_FINALFor many of us, it’s hard to think about a joyful holiday when so many people all over our great country are suffering unimaginable loss. News of more lives lost and the devastation and grief of the victims of the California wildfires greets us daily. And much of our nation is still dealing with the aftermath of this past year’s hurricanes and other localized tragedies like home fires. If the idea of buying a bunch of stuff, most of it not really needed, is hitting you this year, there’s something you can do.

Give something that means something. Give to the American Red Cross.

Donate in the name of a loved one. Wrap the receipt in an envelope and place it in a stocking. Make this type of gift giving a topic of conversation at the dinner table. Ask yourself this question: Can you remember the gifts you received last Christmas? Can you remember the gifts you bought others? Probably not. But one thing you may be able to remember, is that you spent a lot of money.

Wouldn’t it be great if you gave a gift this year that was not only memorable . . . but made a real difference?

A few facts:

  • After a disaster, the Red Cross works with community partners to provide hot meals, snacks and water served in shelters or from Red Cross emergency response vehicles in affected neighborhoods.
  • Trained Red Cross volunteers and employees are ready to deploy within hours of a disaster to help. No one else does this—not the government, not other charities.
  • From small house fires to multistate natural disasters like the wildfires in California, the American Red Cross goes wherever needed so people can have clean water, safe shelter and hot meals when they need them most.

This year, you can give a unique and meaningful gift that can make a difference to help the people met by the Red Cross every 8 minutes who have been devastated by a disaster. 183401-18-Holiday-Campaign-2018_Social-Media-Plan_Facebook-Post-Graphic_3_FINAL

If you want to donate financial assistance for a specific disaster this past year, you can learn more by when you visit Hurricane Florence Financial Assistance Program and Hurricane Michael Financial Assistance Program. To learn about Red Cross assistance to support long-term recovery efforts, please visit Hurricane Harvey Recovery Program, Hurricane Irma Recovery Program, or California Wildfires Recovery Program.

Know that any donation made will be used it where it is needed most.

Your gift this holiday season can bring hope to those in need. This year, give something that means something. Give a gift that can make a difference.

Visit redcross.org/gifts.

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