Please take part in Red Cross Giving Day as #HelpCantWait
Tim Poe, American Red Cross Volunteer.
As a Northern Ohio-based American Red Cross volunteer, I have seen how quickly disaster can strike. How a fire, tornado, lightning strike, flood, or other event impacts lives. And I have seen the effectiveness of your donations. How a comfort kit, meal, blanket, or financial assistance helps those affected begin to recover, to look toward the future. I have also seen the dedication and compassion of many Red Cross volunteers and staff members across several service areas, including Disaster Response, Blood Services, and Service to the Armed Forces. As today is Giving Day, please consider joining thousands of caring people and taking part, whether through financial support, a blood donation, or volunteering.
Red Cross services have been especially needed in the past year. In addition to the COVID-19 global pandemic, 2020 had the greatest number of billion-dollar disasters in a single year. Many from our region helped; nearly 200 Northern Ohioans deployed to 24 large-scale disasters during the year.
Locally, just since July 1, the Red Cross’s Northern Ohio region responded to 848 disasters, assisting 1,249 families (2,074 adults and 1,122 children).
Through it all, the Red Cross effectively continued its mission, with safety protocols in place.
Emotional, spiritual, and mental health support during the pandemic have been one focus area. In 2020, disaster mental health and spiritual care volunteers had more than 53,000 conversations, and free counseling is available through the Red Cross’s Virtual Family Assistance Center for grieving families during COVID-19.
I spoke with Red Cross volunteer Mark Cline, whose numerous responsibilities include Region Program Lead for Northern Ohio’s Disaster Action Team (DAT). Mark focused on how the Red Cross has continued helping people recover from disasters using safety measures like virtual responses where possible. Mark lauded his fellow volunteers and staff, saying, “Being part of the Disaster Action Team proves to me a team working together will get the job done, even in a pandemic!”
Here are some examples of what a financial gift can provide:
- $500: Help families affected by disasters. In Northern Ohio, the Red Cross responds to an average of more than three disasters each day, mostly home fires.
- $200: Deploy an emergency response vehicle (ERV) for a day. ERVs deliver food, supplies, comfort, and information to those in need.
- $100: Cleaning supply kits for five families.
- $95: A day’s worth of food and essential supplies for a family in urgent need after a disaster.
- $60: Warm meals for six.
- $35: Essential relief items for two.
To participate in Giving Day with financial support, please go to redcross.org/GivingDay. A gift of any size makes a difference.
For volunteer opportunities, please visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday.
If you are healthy and feeling well, please consider donating blood. Visit RedCrossBlood.org.
To learn lifesaving skills like CPR and First Aid, consider taking a class at redcross.org/TakeAClass. Online options include Psychological First Aid for COVID-19.