As the holidays closes in, the Oklahoma Region of the American Red Cross asks everyone to help provide relief and comfort by donating during our Giving Something That Means Something Holiday campaign.  

“Every eight minutes, someone affected by a disaster in our country turns to the Red Cross for support,” Alice Townsend, the Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Oklahoma Red Cross said. “When people’s lives are upended by home fires, tornadoes, floods and other crises, your support through our Holiday Campaign can provide necessities like emergency shelter, hot meals and blankets.”

FAMILIES FACE DISASTERS EVERY DAY This year, Red Cross volunteers have been by the sides of families affected by large events like wildfires in California, Hurricane Dorian on the East Coast, tropical storm flooding in Texas, and tornadoes and floods in the Midwest. On average, the Red Cross responds to a new major disaster every 14 days in the U.S. — on top of responding each year to tens of thousands of smaller disasters like home fires, which account for most of the 62,000-plus disasters that the Red Cross responds to annually across the country.

This year across Oklahoma, our teams have responded to not only home fires, but tornadoes and floods among other disasters. In May and June, multiple areas across the state were affected by tornadoes and flooding. From the tornado in Blue, Okla. to the tornado in El Reno and the flooding in northeast Oklahoma, our teams were on the ground immediately helping those impacted.

HOW TO HELP: People can #GiveWithMeaning on Giving Tuesday (December 3) and throughout the holiday season by donating at redcross.org/gift.

Help disaster victims: A gift of $50 can deliver hot meals for five people or provide blankets for 10 people after a disaster, or a larger donation of $100 can provide a family of two with a full day’s worth of emergency shelter, including meals, snacks, blankets, cots and hygiene supplies.

Help military members and veterans: Meanwhile, a donation of $50 can help connect veterans and their families to critical community services, such as food, housing, mental health support and rehabilitation. A larger gift of $145 can provide hospital kits, filled with toiletries and other essentials, for 20 service members.

Help save lives internationally: People can also help save lives through our work with the Measles & Rubella Initiative, which provides vaccinations for children and educates families about the dangers of measles and rubella. A gift of $100 can help provide lifesaving vaccinations for 100 children facing an increased risk of measles and rubella around the world.

GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE The holidays are a difficult time to collect blood because of busy schedules and inclement weather. Still, the need for blood is constant to help accident victims, cancer patients and others who rely on lifesaving blood products every day. Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by visiting redcrossblood.org.

About the American Red Cross:

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/oklahoma or visit us on Facebook at @AmericanRedCrossOklahoma or Twitter at @RedCrossOK .

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS:

Download the Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of emergencies, as well as locations of open Red Cross shelters. It is a single ‘go-to’ source for 14 different types of emergencies and disasters and allows users to notify loved ones who are in an affected area. Download the Monster Guard App so 7- to 11-year-olds will have a free, fun, gaming environment to learn how to prevent emergencies, like home fires, and how to stay safe if severe weather or natural disasters occur. People can download the apps for free in their app stores or at redcross.org/apps.