Celebrities Support Red Cross Holiday Giving Campaign

 Television, movie and music personalities urge people to give the gift that saves the day

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2010 — More than a dozen celebrities are urging their fans and the public to donate to the American Red Cross this holiday season and give a gift that could save the day for someone in need.

Celebrities who are actively encouraging support for the Red Cross holiday giving campaign include actors Josh Duhamel, Marlee Matlin, Jane Seymour, Jackie Chan and Jimmy Smits; television personalities Dr. Phil McGraw, Nancy O’Dell and Leeza Gibbons; and award-winning music stars Chayanne, Reba, Rascal Flatts, Wynonna Judd, Sara Evans and Pat Green. All are members of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

The Red Cross holiday giving campaign features an online “Gifts that Save the Day” catalog that enables people to make a tax-deductible charitable donation this holiday season that could provide food and shelter for a disaster victim for a day; a military comfort kit with a robe, phone or music card and other supplies for a wounded warrior; or basic necessities for a family who lost everything in a disaster. 

Catalog gifts are contributions toward a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item. The donations will be used to provide assistance where it is needed most within the program area; the remaining money is put to use where it is needed most. Many mobile phone owners can also make a $25 donation by texting GIFT to 90999.

Smits narrates the Red Cross holiday television advertisement, now airing across the country this season, which describes the Red Cross moment when people go from despair to hope during an emergency or disaster.

“This holiday season, I’m giving the gift of hope by supporting my local American Red Cross,” Reba said in a video message about the campaign. “Instead of sweaters and ties, I’m giving gifts from the Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog.” Reba also has sent an e-mail to Red Cross supporters nationwide encouraging them to donate this holiday season.

Seymour is the primary celebrity spokesperson for the campaign and will be participating in a series of television and radio interviews promoting support of the Red Cross the last week of December, a time when many people make year-end tax-deductible donations to charities. 

“Perhaps it’s because my father was a doctor, or because I played one on television, but I think my favorite gift in the catalog is the gift of vaccination against measles,” Seymour said. “It’s a great honor to be asked to take part in this worthwhile endeavor for the American Red Cross. I can tell you from personal experience that the time I spend volunteering has enriched my life.”

“You can really make a difference for a lot of families by contributing to the Red Cross Holiday Gift catalog,” said Duhamel, who promoted giving to the Red Cross during an interview with Entertainment Tonight. Dr. Phil shared Red Cross inspirational items for military members on his recent holiday show. Donations in support of members of the military are among the most popular Red Cross contributions.

Celebrities are also reaching tens of millions of their fans and supporters by using their digital media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and websites to promote donations to the Red Cross.  

For example, Judd informed her Twitter followers, “$25 vaccinates 25 children around the world against measles. Wanna help? http://bit.ly/RCHoliday.” Chayanne, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Matlin, O’Dell, Evans, Green, Gibbons and Chan have “tweeted” or made Facebook or website postings, urging their followers to support the Red Cross holiday campaign. 

Each celebrity’s work on the holiday campaign is just the latest example of their support of the Red Cross.   

A recent Red Cross survey showed that despite the economy that has impacted so many Americans, people plan to give to charity this holiday season, with nearly six in ten (57 percent) planning to donate at least $50 to charitable causes over the holidays.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

 

Text GIFT to 90999 and help the Red Cross

Mobile Givers Can Text a $25 Donation Now Through December 31

Cell phone users can text the word GIFT to 90999 from now through December 31 to make a $25 donation to the American Red Cross.

Donations will support the work of the local Red Cross, including disaster response, collecting lifesaving blood, teaching skills that can save a life, or assisting military members and their families.

This new mobile giving program, which runs through December 31, is the first to be done with a number of wireless carriers with a holiday-themed keyword and a $25 amount.

“Over three million people made a $10 donation via text to help the people of Haiti last January.  We are now asking them to help the work of the American Red Cross down the street, across the country, and around the world by making a holiday gift of $25 by text,” said Peggy Dyer, chief marketing officer of the American Red Cross. “A few finger taps on a cell phone can be the gift that saves the day for a person affected by disaster.”

The pilot program is being done with mGive, which partnered with the Red Cross on the highly successful Haiti mobile giving effort which raised nearly $33 million for Haiti relief and recover through $10 text donations. Many leading wireless carriers are participating.

“The American Red Cross has truly embraced the power of mobile giving,” said Brian Leamy, Executive Vice President of mGive. “Through the introduction of this new $25 donation level, the American Red Cross will play a vital role in continuing to expand and broaden the mobile donation market. mGive is proud to be the American Red Cross’ partner of choice for mobile donations and will continue to support them in their expanding mobile efforts.”

People who make a $25 text donation will be sent a link to download a badge for their Facebook pages. Donations will appear on customers’ monthly bills or be debited from prepaid account balances. Message and data rates may apply. The Red Cross is working with mGive to process and facilitate the mobile donations.

The text donation program is another part of the Red Cross holiday giving campaign, which also features an online holiday giving catalog, www.redcross.org/gifts.  The Red Cross has more than 20 gift ideas — such as assisting someone in the military with a phone card or supplies, providing food and shelter to a disaster victim, covering the costs of snacks at a blood drive, or giving basic necessities to a family in another country. 

The purchase of each gift item through the online catalog is a tax-deductible contribution to the overall mission of the American Red Cross.  On the rare occasion when donations exceed the need in a particular area, the Red Cross will use the contribution to help others where the need is greatest.   

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.