Turning Compassion Into Action When Help Can't Wait

Mar 25, 2022 11:50 AM ET
Blog

By the American Red Cross

March is Red Cross Month, a time to celebrate the compassionate supporters who make our work possible. Launched almost 80 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Red Cross Month is also a time for people to rededicate themselves in support of our organization’s humanitarian mission.

When help can’t wait, Red Cross volunteers, generous financial and blood donors, community partners and those trained in vital health and safety skills step up to ensure people in need receive relief and care.

This past year — more than ever — reminded us that no one is beyond the reach of emergencies. An unrelenting wave of devastating disasters impacted communities across the US. Historic storms like Hurricane Ida, record-breaking wildfires in western states, destructive flooding and tornadoes across the Midwest and home fires — all compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic — brought heartbreaking devastation and turned lives upside down.

While many areas of the country continued to see impacts from frequent and repetitive crises, we also saw more extreme and less predictable disasters in unlikely areas. A winter storm crippled Texas, the remnants of Ida took lives in New Jersey and violent tornadoes tore through Kentucky and neighboring states in December.

The Red Cross operated in a near-constant state of disaster response in 2021, averaging a new, major disaster response every week and a half. Our volunteers were continuously on the ground, assessing damage, setting up operations, and reaching people by the hundreds of thousands with safe shelter, warm meals, relief supplies, emotional support and resources to aid in recovery.

Annual donors like FedEx ensure our workers can be on the scene of an emergency and ship supplies to where they’re most needed at a moment’s notice. As an Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) member, their commitments to our organization — before disasters strike — help us keep warehouses stocked, volunteers trained and vehicles maintained so our organization can provide lifesaving care, wherever and whenever it’s needed.

Our mission would not be possible without donors like FedEx, and the time and talents of our volunteers and others willing to roll up their sleeves to help us meet the needs of the communities we serve.

This March, now and leading up to our eighth annual American Red Cross Giving Day on March 23, many people choose to make a donation.. A gift of any size to the Red Cross can provide shelter, food, relief ítems, emotional support and other assistance.

There are many ways to get involved in the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross.

> Volunteer: Those interested in volunteering (in person or virtually) can visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday to review most-needed positions and local opportunities.

> Give Blood: Individuals can help ensure people receive the critical care they need by making an appointment to give blood or platelets at RedCrossBlood.org.

> Take a Class: Those interested can learn lifesaving skills like CPR and first aid to help when it matters most at redcross.org/TakeAClass.

As the scope and scale of disasters continue to increase, it is more important than ever for the Red Cross to be resourced and ready and for people and communities to be prepared. We’re so grateful for the support we get from our generous volunteers, community partners and donors — like FedEx, your team members and your customers — that ensure we can deliver our lifesaving mission year-round.