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In 2021, people in Wisconsin and across the country faced great emergency needs as the ongoing pandemic exacerbated the challenges related to severe disasters, blood shortages and global conflict.
“Our most vulnerable neighbors are facing unique and pressing struggles when crisis strikes on top of COVID-19,” said Mark Thomas, Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Wisconsin. “This holiday season, join us to provide help and hope in these difficult moments by making a financial donation or by giving blood or platelets.”
During the holidays, visit redcross.org to make a financial donation or an appointment to give blood or platelets.
RELENTLESS DISASTERS COMPOUND COVID-19 STRUGGLES 2021 marked one of the country’s most active years for severe weather — which battered many communities still reeling from last year’s disasters. For thousands of people in need, the Red Cross launched a new major relief effort every 11 days to provide refuge, food and care.
This year, a family displaced by a disaster in the U.S. spent an average of nearly 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter. These extended stays were largely due to a lack of savings and community housing shortages — signs that climate-driven disasters are compounding the financial hardships of the pandemic.
In Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan since the beginning of 2021 through last week, our local relief teams have helped more than 3,700 people affected by fires, floods and other disasters. At the same time, disaster volunteers and staff from Wisconsin deployed across the U.S. 449 times to help after hurricanes, wildfires and more, investing more than 58,000 hours to bring people essentials like comfort, shelter and meals.
GLOBAL CONFLICT CREATES MASS NEEDS FOR DISPLACED FAMILIES Around the world, massive humanitarian needs emerged in 2021 for a growing number of families displaced by the overlapping challenges of conflict, COVID-19 and climate change. This year, at the request of federal government partners, Red Cross workers from Wisconsin and across the country distributed more than 2.1 million essential items — like blankets, diapers, medicine and toys — for Afghan evacuees arriving on U.S. military bases like Fort McCoy in western Wisconsin and unaccompanied children seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
COVID-19 STRAINS BLOOD SUPPLY FOR PATIENTS To meet the increasing needs of hospital patients, the Red Cross distributed 250,000 more blood products in 2021 than last year, until the delta variant began to spread in August. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year — one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients. Locally, the Wisconsin Red Cross Region has experienced a 24% decrease in new blood donors this year.
As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. Blood donations are desperately needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
All those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec.16 will automatically be entered for the chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film The Matrix Resurrections. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.*
Upcoming blood donation opportunity
• 12/22/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church, 207 University St., Elk Mound
• 12/13/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Stout Craft Co., 1501 N Broadway St. #1500, Menomonie
• 12/14/2021: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Stout Craft Co., 1501 N Broadway St. #1500, Menomonie
• 12/20/2021: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Brewery Nonic, 621 4th St W, Menomonie
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.