By Tim Poe, Red Cross volunteer
March 23rd is the eighth annual American Red Cross Giving Day, when communities come together to raise awareness about our critical disaster relief mission and fund our lifesaving work across the country. As recent events show, the Red Cross mission and services are critically needed, as #HelpCantWait.
As I reported earlier this month, Disaster Action Team (DAT) responses in our region increased by over 30% in February, mainly due to home fires, and March has continued to be exceptionally busy. Nationally, the Red Cross responded to more than 15,900 home fires since January 1, providing help to almost 60,000.
Please see this video for a behind-the-scenes look at the work Giving Day makes possible.
The blood supply is vulnerable, and help is greatly needed, from blood donors, volunteers, and those providing financial support.
In addition, climate change, global instability, and the effects of the pandemic will continue to pose challenges for all humanitarian services. Challenges that, with your help, the Red Cross will rise to meet.
On a personal note, as a disaster responder I have seen the benefits of Red Cross services. I often saw the relief on people’s faces when we arrived after a home fire, knowing they would have help recovering. And, as assistance was provided, I also frequently saw human resiliency and signs of hope returning. Such moments occur, on average, more than three times a day in Northern Ohio and are made possible by donors and volunteers.
Here are some examples of what a financial gift can provide:
- $3: one comfort kit containing hygiene items.
- $15: one smoke alarm installation with fire safety education.
- $50: a full day of food and shelter for one person.
- $135: one smoke alarm and fire safety education for a hearing-impaired person.
- $150: travel, meals, and shelter for one day for a deployed Red Cross disaster relief, health, or mental health worker.
- $200: a full day of food and shelter to a family of four. Includes the cost of Red Cross workers to provide this service.
- $350: the daily cost to deploy an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV).
- $605: financial assistance for a family impacted by a local disaster, like a home fire. This helps the family purchase food, lodging, clothing, and other critical needs.
- $4,000: a Sound the Alarm event. Includes installing smoke alarms and providing a fire safety package, deploying an ERV for the day, and lunch for volunteers. Average events install around 200 alarms.
To participate in Giving Day, please visit redcross.org/GivingDay. A gift of any size makes a difference.
For Northern Ohio volunteer opportunities, please visit this link..
To donate blood, visit RedCrossBlood.org.
To learn lifesaving skills like CPR and First Aid, consider taking a class at redcross.org/TakeAClass.
Video streamers can also help. See here if interested.