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Give the Gift of Life

Todd PittengerNovember 26, 2022

This holiday season, you can give the gift of life.

According to the Red Cross, 2022 has been a year of crisis for families in Kansas and around the world — from extreme climate disasters to global emergencies like the conflict in Ukraine to the first-ever national American Red Cross blood crisis.

“Whether a crisis is felt by an entire community or a single person, it turns lives upside down — especially for the most vulnerable,” Alice Townsend, Regional CEO for the Red Cross Kansas-Oklahoma Region said. “This holiday season, join us to provide help and hope for people in need during future emergencies by making a financial donation or by giving blood or platelets.”

On Giving Tuesday and during the holidays, visit redcross.org to make a financial donation or an appointment to give blood or platelets for patients in the U.S.Individuals can also register for volunteer opportunities in their area.

RESPONDING TO DISASTERS OF ALL SIZES 

This year’s extreme disasters in the U.S. are clear examples of the increasing frequency and intensity of the climate crisis. So far in 2022, 15 billion-dollar disasters have upended lives across the country — more than twice the number of billion-dollar disasters that struck annually two decades ago.

For these and tens of thousands of other disasters in Kansas and across the country, Red Cross volunteers have worked 24/7 to provide shelter, food and care — including for a 12,000-acre wildfire in March and for the tornado that hit Andover in April.

In Kansas, Red Cross volunteers have also provided relief and comfort after home fires and other local disasters to help ensure no one faces a crisis of any size alone.

HELPING FAMILIES AFFECTED BY GLOBAL EMERGENCIES Internationally, the conflict in Ukraine has forced millions of people to flee for their lives. With such vast needs, the American Red Cross has provided financial donations and international crisis responders to support the global Red Cross network’s response on the ground, which spans more than a dozen neighboring countries to deliver food, shelter, medical care, emotional support and other critical aid for displaced families.

Meanwhile, the American Red Cross has also provided financial support to the ongoing hunger crisis in Africa. Overall this year, as part of the world’s largest humanitarian network, the American Red Cross provided humanitarian aid in more than 108 countries.

PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR PERSONAL EMERGENCIES In Kansas, Red Cross workers have helped people through personal emergencies too, whether it was connecting a loved one with a deployed service member during a family crisis or training people to provide CPR for those suffering from cardiac arrest. Through October 2022, the Red Cross provided services to nearly 2,000 members of the military, family members, veterans and caregivers. The Red Cross has also trained more than 15,000 Kansans in first aid, CPR or how to use an automated external defibrillator.

OVERCOMING THE FIRST-EVER RED CROSS BLOOD CRISIS In January 2022, the Red Cross experienced its worst national blood shortage in over a decade due to ongoing collection challenges and varied hospital demand during the pandemic. Patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions relied on an outpouring of support from hundreds of thousands of generous blood donors to overcome the crisis.

Beyond national headlines, the need for blood is constant. One in 7 patients entering a hospital will need a blood transfusion. As seasonal illness and the threat of winter weather ramp up this holiday season, make a donation appointment and be a lifeline for car accident victims, parents with complicated childbirths, individuals battling cancer and people with sickle cell disease.

Give thanks and give back — now is the time to make and keep blood and platelet donation appointments. Book a time to give at RedCrossBlood.orgAs a thank-you, all those that come to give Nov. 23-27 will get an exclusive Red Cross beanie, while supplies last. Thanks to our partners at Amazon, all donors who come to give blood Nov. 28-Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Gift card by email.*

Upcoming blood donation opportunities through Dec. 15

Click here for a list of Kansas mobile drives

Visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS to make an appointment at a blood drive or at a donor center in Wichita, Hays, or Salina.

Visit redcross.org/kansas2022 for more information about how the Red Cross Serving Kansas helped people in 2022.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2023. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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