March is Red Cross Month – Join the Movement!

March is American Red Cross Month and is a time for community members and businesses to join the Red Cross movement and help us carry out our lifesaving mission with a gift of time, money or blood.

Red Cross volunteers and staff members kick-off Red Cross Month by building a human red cross

Red Cross volunteers and staff members kick-off Red Cross Month by building a human red cross

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by resident Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.

We  respond to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. We provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collect and distribute about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and train more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

Last year in our community, the we provided emergency assistance to 5,041 adults and children that were affected by a disaster, handled 5,594 military emergency communications, trained 38,227 people in lifesaving skills and collected 109, 881 red blood cells and 27, 677 platelets. The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross chapters, serving 35 counties in South Carolina.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.

To learn more about how you can get involved visit Redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Sign Up Today for a FREE International Humanitarian Law Class, Humanity in the Midst of War

Humanity in the Midst of War Flyer 1.30.13.pub

Give Something that Means Something this Holiday Season

This holiday season we are asking you to “give something that means something” by purchasing gifts from the 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog in honor of family, friends or colleagues.

You can support Red Cross programs by purchasing a variety of symbolic gifts. You can buy food and shelter for a disaster victim, phone cards for members of the military, vaccinations for an entire village and many other gift ideas. Catalog purchases come with greeting cards shoppers can send to a friend or loved one, letting them know a donation has been made in their name.

The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution and provides support to the mission of the Red Cross. The catalog gifts are contributions toward a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item.

Click here to start shopping our 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog.  

Holiday Giving Survey Results

Most Americans say that their giving to political causes in 2012 and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will not reduce their year-end gifts to charity, according to a new poll by the American Red Cross.

A telephone survey of 1,010 adults conducted earlier this month found that 78 percent of those who have already given to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts say it will not impact their year-end charitable giving, while 90 percent of those who gave to political causes say it will not reduce their giving to non-profits this holiday season.

“We are very grateful for the strong support by the American public of the Red Cross relief response to Hurricane Sandy,” said Scott R. Salemme, regional chief executive officer, American Red Cross, Columbia Region. “The Red Cross, like other nonprofits, relies on funding throughout the year to support its mission to help those who need our help.”

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • The most popular ways people give are by putting money aside in a canister or giving to someone who is asking for a donation in a public place (both 56 percent) and mailing a check (52 percent). One in five (21 percent) say they have used a charity’s website to donate over the past 12 months.
  • Friends are influential in American’s charitable gift decisions, as half of all donors (51 percent) say they would donate if a friend talked to them personally about a charity.
  • Of social media users polled, 68 percent say they would take time to learn more about a charity if they see a friend posting about it; about half (51 percent) say they would have more respect for a friend that posts about a charitable donation and nearly four in ten (39 percent) said they would donate themselves.

While a majority of those polled said prior giving to political causes and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts will not impact their year-end financial donations, fewer Americans plan to give to charity this year than last year. The survey found that 52 percent of Americans are planning to donate to charity this season, down from 57 percent the past two years in similar Red Cross surveys.

Giving by those who do plan to donate to a nonprofit may be less: while 49 percent of those planning to give will give more than $50; nearly half (46 percent) say they will give less than $50. Last year, 39 percent of Americans who planned to give said they would give less than $50.

“Even if people can’t make a financial donation this holiday season, there are others ways to make a difference, such as by giving blood, volunteering or sending a holiday card to a service member,” said Salemme.

Friends Remain a Trusted Source of Information

When people are considering making a charitable donation, hearing personally from friends and family is an important factor in their decision. Nearly six in ten (59 percent) of those polled said they would sponsor a friend in a walk, run or bike ride for charity if asked, while half said they would donate if asked directly.

More than a third (36 percent) said they would attend a fundraising event, while 32 percent) would sponsor a friend taking an action to emphasize a charity’s mission, like living below the poverty line for a week.

Social Media’s Influence on Giving

Most donors continue to give through ways other than social media, but nearly a quarter of Americans (24 percent) say they influenced by an email or something they saw on social media. Of those social media users polled, nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) said they would visit a charity’s website or Facebook page if they saw a friend post about it, while 58 percent said they would ask their friend to tell them more about the donation.

Half said they would have more respect for someone who posted about donating online, while nearly four in 10 (39 percent) said they would donate money themselves.

Survey details: Telephone survey of 1,010 U.S. Adults 18 years and older on November 8-11, 2012 conducted in ORC International’s CARAVAN® survey  using a landline-cell dual-frame sampling design. Margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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 join our blog at blog.redcross.org.

Sign-up for a Free International Humanitarian Law Class on November 1st

You’re invited to sign-up for a free class, Humanity in the Midst of War. The course will take place on Thursday, November 1, 2012 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Red Cross, located at 2751 Bull Street, Classroom 2 in Columbia. 

The course will teach students about the Geneva Conventions by engaging in hands-on activities and thought-provoking discussions, while exploring the powerful and fundamental concept of human dignity in wartime.

The course is free to the public. To register, please call (803) 514-4084.

International Humanitarian Law is a set of rules that seek to protect those who do not or no longer take part in hostilities and restrict the means and methods of warfare. The Geneva Conventions are the cornerstone of international humanitarian law and are forever linked to the Red Cross.

The American Red Cross’s Congressional Charter specifies that the organization is a “Federally chartered instrumentality of the United States,” and charges the American Red Cross with carrying out the “purposes of the Geneva Conventions” dating back to the original conventions in 1864. It is the duty of the American Red Cross, on behalf of the people and the government of the United States, to help to ensure that these humanitarian principles are widely understood and respected.

Click here to learn more on our International Services.