American Red Cross Launches Holiday Fundraising Campaign To Help Those In Need

WESTFIELD — The holiday season is here and this year the American Red Cross is urging people to give something that means something by donating to the Red Cross and helping those in need.

The Red Cross has launched a holiday fundraising campaign, asking everyone to visit to make a donation in the name of people on their gift list this year. Their donation can help provide food and shelter to a victim of disaster, help purchase things like phone cards and supplies for a member of the armed forces, or help supply basic necessities to families in desperate need in countries across the world.

Shoppers are invited to browse through the Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog and view symbolic gifts they can “purchase” for, or in honor of, a loved one – things like infant care kits for babies in emergency shelters, comfort kits for wounded warriors, or water containers used when natural disasters disrupt a community’s water supply overseas.

“We are asking people to consider giving a gift that means something in the spirit of the holiday season,” said Suzanne Lutz, Executive Director, Raritan Valley Red Cross. “The Holiday Giving Catalog offers great gift ideas for friends, family, teachers and co-workers that will make a difference for other people in need.”

It has been a busy year for the American Red Cross.

Here in Central New Jersey, Disaster Services volunteers responded to 319 home fires that displaced families in Burlington, Camden, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties. The volunteers provided 2,098 people with emergency assistance for lodging, food, and other immediate needs as necessary.

Hurricane Irene generated a massive response and sheltering effort along the Eastern Seaboard. In New Jersey, the Red Cross opened shelters as evacuations were enforced along the coastline prior to landfall and sheltering needs continued during and after the storm as floodwaters inundated communities throughout the state. The Red Cross operated shelters for displaced families and hundreds of trained volunteers and dozens of response vehicles fanned out in affected communities to serve meals and distribute relief supplies.

Across the country, the Red Cross responded to tornadoes that destroyed entire towns, wildfires that burned hundreds of thousands of acres, and flooding that left communities under water from the Dakotas to the East Coast. The Red Cross provided assistance to more than 386,000 members of the military and their families, distributed more than 9 million blood products, and taught life-saving courses to more than 8 million people.

As part of the global Red Cross network in more than 180 countries around the world, the American Red Cross responded to disasters and public health emergencies in more than 60 countries.

“We hope people will be generous this holiday season in their support of the Red Cross,” said Lutz. “These are difficult times for families and businesses in New Jersey, but we ask that people support the Red Cross and the help its programs provide.”

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