WASHINGTON, Dec. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross has joined forces with the Harlem Globetrotters as its official charity partner through the team's Great Assist initiative to help communities across the country prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters big and small.
Known globally as the Ambassadors of Goodwill, the Harlem Globetrotters' Great Assist initiative, which was launched in October 2015, promises to spread 100 million smiles over the next decade through sportsmanship and service. As part of a two-year partnership, the Red Cross will engage the Harlem Globetrotters in all aspects of its mission. During the first year, the team will join the Red Cross, along with local fire departments and other community partners, as the organization works to install its one millionth smoke alarm by October 2017 to help Americans stay safer from home fires. The Red Cross has already installed more than 500,000 smoke alarms nationwide, and saved at least 116 lives.
"Our partnership with the Harlem Globetrotters provides the Red Cross with an incredible opportunity to share our lifesaving mission with even more people and to raise urgently needed funds for families at risk for home fires and countless other disasters," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "The Great Assist initiative is closely aligned with our Red Cross values, and we look forward to embarking on this new journey with the team and its fans."
In 2016, the Red Cross responded to 15 major disasters—50 percent more than the year before—making it a particularly devastating year for thousands of families affected by historic floods, hurricanes, raging wildfires, tornadoes, home fires and more. In fact, the Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes, most of which are home fires. Each year, more people are affected by home fires than major disasters, and on average, seven people die every day from a home fire.
"This partnership brings two great American organizations together in order to achieve a common goal—to help people in need and to put smiles on people's faces," said Howard Smith, President of the Harlem Globetrotters. "We look forward to helping the Red Cross achieve their goals by incorporating their messaging into everything we do on and off the court."
The Harlem Globetrotters will feature the Red Cross at more than 300 games throughout the basketball season, which starts on December 26, 2016 and runs through the spring. Each game will feature a Red Cross PSA announcement, player appearance opportunities and more.
Harlem Globetrotters Legacy
For more than 90 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have been a leader in fun and wholesome family entertainment, and committed to being Ambassadors of Goodwill across the world. Every year, the team travels to hundreds of schools, children's hospitals and overseas military bases, bringing people together through acts of kindness. The Great Assist initiative continues the legacy of giving back by providing the Red Cross a new platform to build awareness and deliver on its critical mission throughout the year.
For more information about donating to the Red Cross, visit Redcross.org/Globetrotters. People can also support the Red Cross by texting ASSIST to 90999 to make a $10 donation, and by visiting Redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800- RED CROSS to schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets near you. To learn more about the Harlem Globetrotters, please visit Harlemglobetrotters.com.
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About the Harlem Globetrotters:
The Harlem Globetrotters® are legendary worldwide, synonymous with one-of-a-kind family entertainment and great basketball skills for the past 90 years. Throughout their history, the Original Harlem Globetrotters have showcased their iconic talents in 122 countries and territories on six continents, often breaking down cultural and societal barriers while providing fans with their first-ever basketball experience. Proud inductees of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Globetrotters have entertained hundreds of millions of fans – among them popes, kings, queens, and presidents – over nine thrilling decades. The American Red Cross is the official charity of the Harlem Globetrotters. Sponsored by Entenmann's Donuts ®, Ticket Galaxy and Baden Sports, Harlem Globetrotters International, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Herschend Enterprises, the largest family-owned themed entertainment company in the U.S. For the latest news and information about the Harlem Globetrotters, visit the Globetrotters' official Web site: www.harlemglobetrotters.com and follow them on Twitter @Globies.
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SOURCE American Red Cross