Red Cross seeks donations of time, money, blood to offset disasters, COVID-19

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) — In an unprecedented year filled with disasters and a global pandemic, the Red Cross continues to help those impacted by these crises. Donations help the organization provide support to families and individuals in need.

“As the coronavirus pandemic wears on, disasters like home fires and floods — plus relentless hurricanes and wildfires — have upended hundreds of thousands of lives across the country,” said Chad Priest, CEO of the American Red Cross–Indiana Region. “Through it all, more people are stepping up as Red Cross volunteers to help others — even as they cope with home fires, floods and COVID-19. It’s a true testament to the humanitarian spirit of people in the Indiana region and in our country.”

PROVIDING SUPPORT DURING DISASTERS: More than one million times this year, a person relied on the Red Cross for a safe place to sleep after a disaster in the U.S. That’s more than four times the annual average from 2011 to 2019. This year’s total so far includes serving people in our own communities following local disasters such as flooding and home fires. The Red Cross helps disaster victims secure a safe place to stay and provides food, emotional support and other assistance.

NEW BLOOD DONORS SAVE LIVES: In 2020, Red Cross blood drive cancellations tripled compared to 2019, mostly due to COVID-19. Since March, over 50,000 blood drives were canceled as the pandemic forced schools, businesses and community organizations to close, impacting over one million blood donation appointments. Still, people rolled up their sleeves — more than a half-million of them giving for the first time.

Blood donation is an essential service, and everyone’s well-being is the Red Cross’ top priority. The Red Cross follows the latest public health guidelines, as well as has put additional precautions in place to ensure everyone’s safety.

This pandemic has also caused the Red Cross to adapt its collections to include plasma from COVID-19 survivors to potentially help those battling the virus recover. Thousands of COVID-19 survivors have stepped up to share their potentially lifesaving antibodies by giving plasma. Since April, nearly 25,000 COVID-19 survivors have rolled up a sleeve — many of whom are new to blood donation. Their donations have enabled the Red Cross to ship nearly 50,000 units to hospitals across the country treating COVID-19 patients.

HOW YOU CAN HELP: On Giving Tuesday and during the holiday season, help people in need by donating at redcross.org/gift. A gift of any size makes a difference. Those feeling healthy are urged to donate blood this holiday season. Blood donations can make a lifesaving difference for a patient in need. Visit RedCrossBlood.org to schedule an appointment today.

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