How to donate to the American Red Cross – KXXV News Channel 25

 In U.S.
(KXXV) –
There are three ways to donate now to the American Red Cross.

  1. One, you can visit www.redcross.org. Once you click on the donate now button, you will be directed to a donation page. Once there, you can select Hurricane Harvey and then the amount you wish to donate
  2. You can also text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Charges will appear on your wireless bill or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Must be 18 years of age or have parental permission to participate. Message and Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 90999 to STOP. Text HELP to 90999 for HELP. Full Terms and Privacy Policy: hmgf.org/t.
  3. You can also call 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to donate.

HOW THE RED CROSS IS HELPING

Q.    How is the Red Cross helping people affected by Hurricane Harvey?

A.   Hurricane Harvey, the first Category 4 hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Hurricane Charley in 2004, is bringing life-threatening and devastating damage to the Gulf Coast and areas far inland. The American Red Cross has mobilized a massive relief effort to provide shelter, food and comfort. And we will continue to be there in the weeks and months ahead, helping residents recover from this massive storm.

More than 1,400 people took refuge from the deadly storm Friday night in 24 Red Cross and community shelters. Evacuation orders remain in effect in Texas and Louisiana. The storm is expected to produce life-threatening rain through the middle of next week and more than 40 additional shelters are on standby if needed.

The Red Cross is working in close collaboration with government officials and community partners in both Texas and Louisiana to coordinate potential response efforts.

Shelters are also on standby in Arkansas for people who may evacuate into the state, and the Red Cross is working with officials there to coordinate any response that may be needed.

Hundreds of Red Cross disaster workers from all over the country are helping people impacted by the hurricane and thousands more will be asked to deploy in the weeks to come as people begin to recover from the storm.

The Red Cross has tractor-trailer loads of relief supplies in the region – enough to support more than 20,000 people for weeks. The supplies include cots, blankets, ready-to-eat meals, comfort kits and cleaning supplies.

The Red Cross is also mobilizing its disaster partners to support feeding, child care, disaster assessment and other disaster services.

We have 28 emergency response vehicles responding now, and 40 more from around the country are on their way to the region.

In addition, the Red Cross has pre-positioned blood products in Houston ahead of the storm to help ensure we can maintain an adequate blood supply over the weekend. We are also staging additional blood inventory in Dallas as well in case of canceled flights or severe flooding.

Q.  How do I find a Red Cross shelter and other help?

A.  If you need the location of a shelter or other help, you should go to redcross.org and check the shelter map. People can also find a shelter by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real-time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

Q.    What help is available at the shelters?

A.  The shelters are providing for the immediate needs of those affected, including a safe place to stay and food to eat. Anyone who plans to stay in a Red Cross shelter should bring prescription medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, other comfort items and important documents. Don’t forget to bring any special items for children, such as diapers, formula and toys, or for family members who have unique needs.

Q.  Why is there no Red Cross shelter closer to my location?

A.  The Red Cross will only shelter in the safest locations possible. This means we don’t typically open shelters in flood zones or evacuation areas. The safety of our shelter residents and volunteers is our first priority. We won’t compromise people’s safety or that of our volunteers.

Q: Why doesn’t the Red Cross have cots and blankets for everyone?

A: Typically, evacuation shelters typically are only meant to house people for 12-24 hours, until the storm moves through. A local Red Cross chapter may not have enough supplies to provide a cot and blanket for each person and it may not be practical to move in supplies for such short-term shelters. If there is enough lead-time or if it becomes evident that shelters will stay open after landfall, the Red Cross can move supplies in from other areas.

Q. What kind of services does the Red Cross provide after a disaster?

A.  The Red Cross responds to the scene of emergencies to help provide for the urgent needs of disaster victims. Right after a disaster, we focus on providing safe shelter and feeding people. After the storm passes, we will be offering emotional support and health services, and distributing emergency relief supplies such as comfort kits and cleaning supplies. But our work doesn’t end there; the Red Cross also plays a critical role in helping families and communities get back on their feet.

HOW PEOPLE CAN HELP

Q. How can the public help?

A. The Red Cross depends on financial donations to be able to provide disaster relief immediately. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Q.  Will my donation stay in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey?

A.  The Red Cross honors donor intent. Donors can designate their donation to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts by choosing that option when donating on redcross.org or on 1-800-RED CROSS. The best way to ensure your donation will go to a specific disaster is to write the specific disaster name in the memo line of a check. We also recommend completing and mailing the donation form on redcross.org with your check.

Q.  What do contributions to the Hurricane Harvey disaster effort pay for?

A.  Financial donations for Red Cross Hurricane Harvey will help people affected by this devastating storm. Donations are used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster. This includes providing food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance as well as supporting the vehicles, warehouses, technology and people that make that help possible.

Q.  How much of my donation goes to helping disaster victims and how much goes to overhead?

A.  An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs, including disaster relief and recovery. All elements of our disaster program—from purchasing supplies to training volunteers to maintaining staff—play a role in directly helping disaster victims. We only use a small amount of every dollar for fundraising as well as management and general expenses that cross all program lines but are indispensable to conduct our activities.

Q.  Do you need blood for Texas?

A.  The need for blood is constant and we currently have an urgent need for blood donations across the country due to a summer decline in blood donors and blood drive sponsors. We will closely monitor our blood supplies in Texas and other areas impacted by the hurricane. We always encourage blood donations and the Red Cross stands ready to provide blood products as needed.

Q.  How can I volunteer?

A.  People can make a difference in someone’s life by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. To join us, visit redcross.org today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

Q.  I want to help. Can I just go to the region and volunteer my time?

A.  Thank you for wanting to help the people affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Red Cross recommends connecting with volunteer groups to learn about opportunities, and when volunteers are needed, before you to travel to the region independently.

If you would like to volunteer with the Red Cross, you can visit redcross.org to learn more about the many volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. This would allow you to not only help on large disasters like Hurricane Harvey, but also when smaller disasters like home fires happen in your community.

The best and most immediate way you can help is to make a financial donation to support the Red Cross Hurricane Harvey relief effort. Help people affected by Hurricane Harvey by visiting redcross.org, calling 1- 800-RED CROSS or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.

Q.  Why does the Red Cross require me to register and fill out paperwork in order to volunteer?

A.  The safety of the people we serve and the volunteers who help them is of utmost importance to the Red Cross. We have procedures in place to track who is volunteering for the Red Cross to help keep people safe. This includes running a background check on all volunteers who will work directly with the people who turn to us for help or have access to funds. Volunteers also sign an agreement to abide by our code of ethics and conduct.

Q.  Does the Red Cross accept donations of goods?

A.  The Red Cross only accepts large, bulk donations of new items if they are suitable to the needs of a specific disaster. We do not accept small quantities or collections of new or used products, like household goods, clothing or food. The Red Cross works closely with local community groups and organizations that do accept in-kind donations.

Q.  Why won’t the Red Cross accept clothing donations or food or anything the public can give?

A.  We know Americans are generous and want to do everything they can to help after a disaster. Unfortunately, collecting and sending food, clothing and other household items often does more harm than good. Instead, the best way to support disaster victims is with a financial donation.

It takes time and money to store, sort, clean and distribute donated items, which diverts limited time and resources away from helping those most affected. In contrast, financial donations can be accessed quickly to support those affected, and be put to use right away. With a financial donation, individuals can buy what they need and want.

Storing donated items can also result in thousands of dollars in warehousing, cleaning, transportation and handling fees – whereas financial donations allow us to be flexible to give those directly impacted by Harvey what they need most.

Our first priority is the safety and well-being of those affected by disasters. Unfortunately, some well-intentioned donations of clothing or other items may be inadvertently soiled or dirty, which can cause illness. Financial donations don’t pose any health risks and can be used right away to replace items like medications and reading glasses.

Before collecting or dropping off donations of food, clothing or household items, please call first to see if these items are needed. On some occasions, the Red Cross will accept donations, except for homemade food, at our shelters.

Q. Why won’t the Red Cross accept food at shelters?

A. For the safety of all shelter residents, home cooked food is not allowed. The Red Cross cannot ensure the safety of food prepared in a non-commercial setting. Donations of unexpired, non-perishable food in original containers will be made immediately available to our shelter residents, but a large influx may not be helpful at the shelter as storage space is limited. Local food pantries are better equipped to handle food distribution after residents have been allowed to return home.

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