By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer
November 29, 2019- Earlier this month, another volunteer and I sat with a woman outside her family’s home, which had been severely damaged by fire a few hours earlier. Toward the end of our discussion, we handed her an assistance packet. She looked at it for a moment, nodded and thanked us through tears. While the aid we provided consisted of objects and financial assistance, there was also something greater: the beginning of recovery, of moving forward.
In Northeast Ohio, moments like these happen three times a day, on average. They are among the many critical services provided by the American Red Cross — and are made possible through generous donations from people like you.
The holiday giving season is now in full swing, and many of us seek ways to express gratitude to loved ones. For Black Friday, Giving Tuesday and throughout the season, please consider helping others as well, whether they are recovering from a disaster, serving their country, learning lifesaving skills, in need of smoke alarms, in need of blood or facing medical issues. These are among the community members the Red Cross assists every day.
Whatever you can give is very impactful. For instance, $2.50 covers the cost of a comfort kit with hygiene supplies, while $5 provides someone with a blanket, and $15 covers the cost of fire safety training and installation of a smoke alarm.
Similarly, a $50 donation can provide hot meals for five people, a day’s worth of supplies to a person in an emergency shelter, or it can help connect veterans and their families to critical community services such as food, housing, mental health support and rehabilitation. A $100 gift can provide lifesaving vaccinations for 100 children facing an increased risk of measles and rubella around the world, or it can supply a crib for an infant in a shelter. A donation of $145 can provide hospital kits for 20 service members. Training and installation of a smoke alarm for a deaf or hearing-impaired person is possible through a $150 donation, while $200 can cover the cost to deploy an Emergency Response Vehicle or provide a full day of food and shelter for a family of four.
These are just a few of the examples of what a Red Cross financial donation can provide. If you are able to help, please visit redcross.org/gift.
There are other ways to contribute as well. Donating blood is especially important during the holiday season as busy schedules and winter weather make collection more difficult. For more information or to schedule a donation, visit redcrossblood.org. Volunteers are also needed in a number of areas. If you can help, visit redcross.org/volunteer for more information or to apply.
As a volunteer, I have been honored to see the positive impact and effectiveness of Red Cross services and am grateful for the contributions that make it possible. If you are able to provide financial assistance, volunteer or give blood, please consider helping the Red Cross this Giving Tuesday and throughout the season.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer