WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2021, people across the country faced great emergency needs as the ongoing pandemic exacerbated challenges related to severe disasters and blood shortages.
"The situation is dire for those most vulnerable in communities across the country, who face increased and more severe disasters on top of COVID-19," American Red Cross President & CEO Gail J. McGovern said. "Join us to give hope this holiday season by making a financial donation for families and individuals facing their darkest hours from a disaster, or by donating blood to help us overcome our nation's emergency blood shortage."
This holiday season, visit redcross.org to make a financial donation or an appointment to give blood or platelets. Individuals can also learn about volunteer opportunities in their area and give back in honor of American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, whose 200th birthday will be commemorated on December 25.
RELENTLESS DISASTERS COMPOUND COVID-19 STRUGGLES 2021 marked one of the country's most active years for severe weather — which battered many communities still reeling from last year's disasters. For thousands of people in need, the Red Cross launched a new major relief effort every 11 days to provide refuge, food and care.
This year, a family displaced by a disaster in the U.S. spent an average of nearly 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter. These extended stays were largely due to a lack of savings and community housing shortages — signs that climate-driven disasters are compounding the financial hardships of the pandemic.
Red Cross volunteers also provided free services such as food, relief items, health services and emotional support — and distributed emergency financial assistance to help more than 211,400 people with urgent disaster needs, such as making a deposit on a new apartment or replacing lost clothing.
COVID-19 STRAINS BLOOD SUPPLY FOR PATIENTS To meet the increasing needs of hospital patients, the Red Cross distributed 250,000 more blood products in 2021 than last year, until the delta variant began to spread in August. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year — one of the largest year-to-year decreases that could threaten essential medical care for patients.
As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. Blood donations are desperately needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
All those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec.16 will automatically be entered for the chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film The Matrix Resurrections. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.*
About Our Corporate Holiday Supporters: The Red Cross is grateful for corporate partners who contribute to our Holiday Campaign. They include our national 2021 partners AmazonSmile, Circle K and PayPal. Thanks to the generosity of these and other supporters, the Red Cross is able to bring help and hope to people across the country. To learn more about our corporate holiday supporters, visit redcross.org/HolidayPartners.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About The Matrix Resurrections: Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, In Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, In Association with Venus Castina Productions, The Matrix Resurrections. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.