If you’re like me, there’s at least one person on your holiday gift list who’s hard to buy for. Every year, you search – on line or on foot – for the perfect gift. Even then, you might not be sure you got it right. You just hope it means something to the recipient.
There is a way, however, to “give something that means something” to people you will never meet. Someone who’s been in an auto accident will be forever grateful to the person who donates the blood she receives. A family who loses everything in a flood or a home fire will never forget that someone’s donation to the American Red Cross put a roof over their heads until they could get back on their feet. Most of all, they will never forget the listening ear of the Red Crosser who was the best part of the worst day of their lives.
Whatever your holiday gift list is like, you can “give something that means something” this holiday season. The American Red Cross must collect about 14,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. If you donate one of those pints, you will “give something that means something.”
You can make an end-of –year gift – or donate your change for a week – to the Red Cross. If you do, you will “give something that means something.”
More than 90 percent of Red Crossers are volunteers who provide a multitude of services throughout the organization. If you can answer a phone, drive, help install a smoke alarm…you can “give something that means something.”
What do these gifts of time, talent and treasure fund?
- Disaster Services – the Red Cross responds to nearly 66,000 large and small disasters every year, from a fire in someone’s home to a larger emergency like wildfires and flooding.
- Biomedical Services – patients in about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country depend on Red Cross blood donors to help them fight their way back to good health.
- Service to the Armed Forces – the Red Cross provides more than 352,000 services annually to members of the military, veterans and civilians on military bases in the U.S. and around the world.
- Measles and Rubella Initiative – every year, the Red Cross helps more than 140 million people outside the United States through our disaster response programs as well as vaccinating children against measles and rubella in countries all over the globe.
Visit redcross.org/gift to give a symbolic gift in honor of a friend, colleague, client or loved one this holiday season. You can give online, by mail, or phone and your gift is tax-deductible. You can receive free holiday greeting cards when you make your donation, and with certain donation amounts you can receive a free thank-you gift. Your 2016 holiday donation is a tax-deductible contribution to the American Red Cross. To volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer. To make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).