Widespread Flooding in Multiple States as Storm Moves North

WASHINGTON, August 28, 2011 – More than 27,000 people spent Saturday night in shelters opened or supported by the American Red Cross as Hurricane Irene moved up the East Coast. The storm is shaping up to become a large flood relief operation and thousands of people across multiple states have already turned to the Red Cross for help.

“Our main focus right now is providing people with a safe place to stay and food to eat,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “There have been mandatory evacuations all along the East Coast and millions are without power because of this hurricane.”

While it is too early to know the full extent of the storm’s damage, the Red Cross expects to be helping people for the next several weeks.

The Red Cross has relief operations ongoing in more than a dozen states and thousands of disaster workers helping people fromNorth CarolinatoNew England. Every Red Cross feeding truck east of theRocky Mountains- more than 250 – are set to go into neighborhoods as soon as conditions permit. Tens of thousands of pre-packaged meals are in position, and the Red Cross is working with its community partners to have feeding kitchens in place after the storm moves through.

“This is a big response involving multiple states and the response will cost millions,” Shimanski said. If people would like to help, they can click or text to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donations can be made by visiting www.redcross.org or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions can also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or mailed to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.

 Irene has already caused the cancellation of more than 50 blood drives, adding up to a loss of approximately 1,500 blood donations along the East Coast. Because each donation can be made into as many as three blood products, this translates to approximately 4,500 blood products not being available for patients who need them. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or go to redcrossblood.org.

Those affected by the storm can let friends and family know where they are by registering on the Red Cross Safe and Well website at redcross.org. They can also call a family member or friend with internet access and ask them to do their registration.

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.

Stars Reaching Out to Help After Deadly Storms

Thursday, May 06, 2010 — Weekend storms devastated parts of the South and some of the biggest names in country music are reaching out to lend a hand.

Award winning actress, country music superstar and American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet member Reba McEntire, a resident of Nashville, has donated $100,000 to the Nashville Area Red Cross Chapter, and encouraged social media devotees to text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation to help those affected by the flooding.   

Award winning actress, country music superstar and American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet member Reba McEntire

Reba knows the importance of being prepared for the unexpected and also recorded public service announcements to educate people about how to be prepared for tornadoes and hurricanes.

Wynonna Judd, Amy Grant, Sara Evans, Alyssa Milano, Pat Green and Marlee Matlin all members of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet as well as Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Ryan Seacrest, the Zac Brown Band, Jo Dee Messina and Lady Antebellum have all used their social media platforms to promote texting  “REDCROSS” to 90999 to benefit Red Cross relief efforts.  Lady Antebellum has also posted a moving video which includes a Red Cross appeal for donations.

In Nashville, several local telethons will be held this week to raise funds to support Red Cross relief efforts. One telethon is expected to feature Nashville Predators Head Coach Barry Trotz, Tennessee Titans Head Coach Jeff Fisher, singer/songwriter Amy Grant and country music artist Phil Vassar.

A second telethon will benefit the Red Cross and other relief organizations. Scheduled to appear are country music stars Vince Gill, Amy Grant, Naomi Judd, Phil Vassar, and Lonestar.

If you would like to help, there are three ways that people can make a donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund: Visit redcross.org to donate online, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

 Help people affected by disasters like the recent floods and tornadoes in the South, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.

 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.

American Red Cross Responds to Historic Southern Floods

People can send a $10 donation to help those affected by disasters across the country by texting ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999

Photo by: Beth Ferguson on Sunday May 2nd at the Smyrna Towne Center Red Cross Shelter in Smyrna, TN

WASHINGTON, Monday, May 3, 2010

—The American Red Cross has opened more than two dozen shelters in response to a powerful weather system that generated tornadoes and caused severe flooding across the South.

As of Monday morning, the Red Cross and its partners had 28 shelters open across the South, including Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee. Tennessee was particularly hard hit, with some areas in the state receiving as much as a foot of rain, leading to numerous road closures and forcing evacuations. Nearly 1,000 Tennesseans stayed at a shelter on Sunday night.

“We’re just at the beginning of this relief operation, and until the water begins to recede we won’t know just how much damage has occurred,” said Joe Becker, senior vice president of disaster services at the Red Cross. “Right now we’re focused on providing meals and a safe place to stay, but the Red Cross will be there for the long haul to help people get back on their feet.” 

The Red Cross activated a mobile giving text donation effort today to enable interested people to make a $10 text donation to help people affected by disasters like the recent floods and tornadoes.     

Customers of participating wireless carriers can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Donations will appear on customers’ monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. Message and data rates may apply. Depending on the carrier, individuals can donate two or three times per month. The Red Cross is working with mGive to process and facilitate the mobile donations.

Floods are typically long-term relief operations, given that waters can take days to recede and can wreak devastating damage on homes.

As heavy rains continue across the South, the Red Cross encourages people in the affected area to register themselves and their loved ones on the Safe and Well Web site, to allow family and friends around the country to know of their status:

  • Visit redcross.org, and click on the Safe and Well link.
  • If you are currently being affected by this disaster, click: “List Myself as Safe and Well,” enter your pre-disaster address and phone number, and select any of the standard message options.
  • If you are concerned about a loved one, click “Search” and enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number OR address. If they have registered, you will be able to view the messages that they posted.
  • If you don’t have internet access, you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to register yourself and your family. Follow the prompts for disaster information.

To find the location of open shelters, please visit redcross.org and click on the “Find a Shelter” link.

Time is of the essence in any disaster, and the Red Cross is able to respond immediately to the needs of individuals and families impacted by disaster anywhere in the United States, regardless of cost, thanks to donations by members of the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP).

Members of the Annual Disaster Giving Fund are Altria Group, American Express, AXA Foundation, ConAgra Foods, FedEx Corporation, GE Foundation, General Motors Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, John Deere Foundation, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Merck, Morgan Stanley, Nationwide Insurance Foundation, Ryder Charitable Foundation, State Farm, State Street Foundation, Target, The TJX Companies, Inc., UnitedHealthcare and UPS.

Help people affected by disasters like the recent floods and tornadoes in the South, by donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for disasters and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to victims of all disasters. Call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; provides 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.