SPRINGFIELD -- After responding to a string of historic disasters, the American Red Cross is appealing to the public to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season. Throughout the holiday giving season, donors can help bring hope and relief to children, families and communities that need it most with their holiday shopping.

Beginning in late August, the Red Cross embarked on providing wide-ranging relief efforts in response to three historic back-to-back hurricanes -- Harvey, Irma, and Maria -- followed closely by the deadliest week of wildfires in California history. In response to these disasters, the Red Cross provided more food to those affected than in the past four years -- combined.

The need for Red Cross services is constant, and the organization’s Holiday Giving Campaign offers donors the opportunity to honor someone special with a unique gift. Gifts can help families who have lost everything after a disaster, support military heroes and veterans facing emergencies, and save children’s lives around the world.

“People have been very kind in supporting the Red Cross over the years by volunteering their time, giving their blood, and donating their money,” says Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “We ask for your help this holiday season to support the people in need in our community.”

How You Can Give Back

Through the Holiday Giving Campaign, people can give gifts that uniquely give back to people in the community while supporting the organization’s mission. Individuals can choose from three essential giving opportunities:

  1. Gifts that help disaster victims. For example, a donation of $25 can provide blankets—as well as warmth and a sense of security—for five people staying in an emergency shelter. A $30 gift can provide hot meals for three people following a disaster while a $50 donation can supply a full day of emergency shelter with urgently needed essentials, including three meals, two blankets, a cot, snacks and personal hygiene supplies for someone impacted by disaster.
  2. Gifts that help our troops. For example, a $145 contribution can show our heroes and veterans that we care by providing military hospital kits to 20 service members.
  3. Gifts that help internationally. For example, a financial contribution of $100 can educate families and vaccinate 100 children against measles—a $500 gift can vaccinate an entire village.

To give with meaning, visit redcross.org/gift. Choose from the diverse assortment of symbolic gifts, and make a tax-deductible donation online or, call 1-800 RED CROSS to support the corresponding Red Cross services. Then, send a card to the friend, family member, co-worker or customer being honored by your donation.

The Red Cross also encourages eligible individuals to give with meaning this holiday season by donating blood or platelets. Blood and platelet donations tend to decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people become busy with holiday-related activities and travel, but patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood. Generous blood and platelet donations can help ensure lifesaving blood products reach those who need them including accident victims, heart surgery patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. Make an appointment today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

During this holiday season, the American Red Cross is grateful for those corporate donors that generously contribute to our Holiday Giving Campaign. They include: Circle K and American Girl. Thanks to the generosity of these and other supporters, the Red Cross is able to bring help and hope to people across the country. To learn more about our corporate holiday supporters, visit redcross.org/corporate-holiday-supporters.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.

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