The holidays are drawing near and most people are making plans to enjoy the season with their loved ones. But for many, the holiday season will be a very difficult time. The American Red Cross is asking people to remember those in need this year by giving something meaningful—giving hope to those in need.
Disasters affected thousands of people this year. Whether a home fire or a major disaster, many lost everything they owned. Every nine minutes the Red Cross responds to a disaster in this country and a financial donation can help the nearly 70,000 people who turn to the Red Cross every year for assistance with disasters big and small.
BLOOD SERVICES As many as 44,000 blood donations are needed every day across the country to meet the needs of hospital patients. During the holiday season, it is very difficult to collect enough blood for those who need it. People get busy with their holiday preparations and celebrations and giving blood is not a priority. A blood donation to the Red Cross can save up to three lives. The Northwest Georgia Chapter will be hosting a Community Holiday Blood Drive at the Chapter Headquarters on Wednesday, Nov. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at 112 John Maddox Drive in Rome.
SERVICE TO ARMED FORCES Many members of the military will be separated from their loved ones during the holidays this year. The public can send a thank you card to members of the Armed Forces through the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Remembering them with a card can lift their spirits. The Northwest Georgia Chapter will be hosting a Holiday Mail for Heroes card signing event at the Rome Business Expo on Saturday, Nov. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Forum in downtown Rome.
BECOME A VOLUNTEER One of the greatest gifts someone can give is the gift of time by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. There are many ways someone can volunteer with the Red Cross in their local community. Visit the “Ways to Volunteer” information on the Red Cross web site to learn how.
“Make the holiday season truly meaningful by lending a hand to people who need your help,” said Jeffrey Putnam, executive Director of the Northwest Georgia Chapter, which covers Cartersville and Bartow County. “Your support can help a victim of disaster, someone needing blood, a member of the Armed Forces far from home.”
As people look for meaningful gifts this year, the Red Cross invites everyone to visit www.redcross.org/gifts, where they can purchase a variety of symbolic gifts in the name of the people on their gift list this year. Shoppers can buy things such as infant care kits for babies in emergency shelters, comfort kits for wounded warriors, or water containers used when natural disasters disrupt a community’s water supply overseas. Catalog purchases come with greeting cards shoppers can send to a friend or loved one, letting them know a donation has been made in their name. The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution that supports the mission of the Red Cross.
During fiscal year 2013, which is July 2012 through June 2013, in the 10 counties served by the Northwest Georgia Chapter, local volunteers and staff responded to 170 disaster calls, including tornados that struck Gordon, Bartow and Floyd counties; provided financial assistance to nearly 1,000 clients following disasters; 319 families received emergency messages; and more than 4,000 attended a life-saving health and safety training class.
“We ask people to remember all those who are looking to the Red Cross for help and be generous this holiday season,” Putnam said.
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