Most people know and admire the work done by the Red Cross. What they might not know is how much the Red Cross relies on volunteers and donations to carry on its work. As much as 90% of their work force is made up of volunteers. And American Red Cross donations help them to keep continue helping those affected by emergencies such as fires, floods, earthquakes and other disasters.
The Red Cross mission
American Red Cross donations help people affected by emergencies. As stated in its mission statement, the American Red Cross “prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” The Red Cross is one of the most trusted charities in the U.S. and around the world.
It’s because people know that their Red Cross donations will be used to provide direct help that they are willing to donate clothes, cash and other basics. In 2014, Americans donated 3% of their income to charity, and Red Cross donations from private donors totaled $687 million. The donations are used to help people round the clock, every day. American Red Cross donations help them to provide relief for families and communities affected by emergencies, with blankets, food, blood and shelter.
How you can help
Even if you don’t have a lot of money, you can still help the Red Cross carry out its mission. You can donate blood. Or you can go one step further and help to organize a blood donation camp in your community. If you’re a good organizer, you can hold a bake sale to raise funds for American Red Cross donations. If you can find the time, you can even contact your local Red Cross chapter to find out how to train as a volunteer.
Another way to help out is to donate old clothes to the Red Cross and other charities that will use them to fund their programs. Your closet is probably full of clothes that you never wear. By donating them to charity, you’re giving them to someone who will appreciate them and put them to good use.
How clothing donations can help
When you donate clothing, you’re helping the Red Cross and other charities to continue doing their essential work. Red Cross clothes donations are used to help victims directly. So your old blanket or jacket might go to comfort someone who just lost everything when their home was flooded and everything was destroyed.
Clothes donations are a very direct and personal way to help someone, even though you will never know their names or meet them. Used clothing donations are especially welcome for families with children, who cannot always find the money to buy a good winter coat or boots.
The next time you see Red Cross volunteers helping victims of a fire or a flood, and wish you could help them, the truth is that you can. By bringing your old clothes to a clothing donation center, you’re giving them a new lease of life, and helping someone else put together their lives again.