Get involved with the Red Cross’ response to Hurricane Florence. 

Sleeves up. Hearts open. All in. 

By now, many of us have seen the impact of 2018’s hurricane season. From Hurricane Helene threatening the Azores islands near Europe to Hurricane Isaac bringing heavy winds towards Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, there’s been no shortage of news coverage of these dangerous threats. On September 10, 2018, H urricane Helene was declared a major hurricane (Category 4). Leaders across several states along the East Coast declared states of emergency as citizens prepared for Helene.

Red Cross volunteers have been on the ground from before Helene hit the coast, working with local partners to prepare communities.  

Caption: Photo by Daniel Cima/American Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2018/hurricane-florence-red-cross-helps-as-thousands-seek-shelter.html

Now, Red Cross teams have been working around the clock to provide shelter, meals, and emotional support for all affected areas. There are several ways you as a Red Cross youth volunteer can help through your Red Cross Club or as an individual:

 

  1. Blood donations are needed: make an appointment with your local Red Cross to donate blood or platelets. Visit redcrossblood.org, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store!), or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). 

As a club, host a blood drive! You can use our Activity Guide on www.RedCrossYouth.org for even more information here.   

  1. Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise: with overwhelming floods following Helene, many need financial support. Help fundraise by hosting a Change for Change or a Ready Relay!  There are so many other fundraising events with Activity Guides available on RCYO here.   

Caption: Photo by Daniel Cima/American Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2018/hurricane-florence-red-cross-helps-as-thousands-seek-shelter.html

People can donate by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcross.org 

You can also give notice that the Red Cross respects if a donor would like their donation to go specifically to Hurricane Florence relief efforts. They can choose the option or make a $10 donation by texting the word FLORENCE to 90999. 

  1. Spread the word: be a Digital Advocate for the American Red Cross. Check out official Red Cross social media channels here. Share posts, encourage donations, and help spread the news about the Red Cross’ relief efforts online. I hope everyone understands the power of social media and how we, as youth can use our savvy social media skills to help support the American Red Cross. Here are some common FAQ videos that can help you disseminate truthful and correct information. 
  1. Why can the Red Cross only accept monetary donations? 
    Refer people to this Red Cross video, explaining how physical goods can actually hinder relief efforts in our shelter: https://vimeo.com/287073847  
  1. Does the Red Cross allow pets in their shelter?
    Refer people this Red Cross video, explaining how the Red Cross works with partner organizations to help shelter loved pets. We understand pets are a part of many families: https://vimeo.com/289750490  

 

Caption: Photo by Daniel Cima/American Red Cross – https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2018/hurricane-florence-red-cross-helps-as-thousands-seek-shelter.html

I also encourage you to use our Office Hours program where you can speak one-on-one with a National Youth Council members. We help walk you through fundraising ideas, talk through organizing an event, and provide as much support as we can in your Red Cross journey! 

Visit https://RedCrossYouth.org for even more resources for you as a Red Cross Youth volunteer. 

Read inspiring stories from volunteers helping in Florence relief here.   

Read common FAQs about the Red Cross response to Hurricane Florence here.   

Read more about the Red Cross response to Hurricane Florence here 

 

Ian Lee, National Youth Council member, Communications Working Group Lead 

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