* Gail McGovern is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross. This post also appears on the Case Foundation blog.
The holiday season reminds us to reflect upon the many gifts we received throughout the year but also to remember those in need around us. I’m excited to share two special opportunities that allow you to touch the lives of others through the American Red Cross during this season of hope.
We’ve launched our 2nd catalog of Holiday Gifts. This is the perfect way to pay tribute to family members, friends or that certain someone who’s hard to buy for. Your loved one will receive a card acknowledging your gift in their honor. There are many items to choose from including a vaccination for a child against measles, gift cards and comfort kits for the men and women who serve in the armed forces, cots and blankets for people struck by disaster, or training courses in CPR or First Aid. The catalog allows you to honor those on your holiday gift list, while providing great comfort and assistance to our Troops, as well as those in need across this nation and around the world.
I’m often asked which gift is my favorite in the Holiday Catalog. I confess that when I bought gifts last year, I sprinkled them through the entire catalog, as I’ve been personally touched by so many elements of the mission of the American Red Cross. I have a former colleague who is alive today because someone gave him lifesaving CPR, my mom is a recipient of blood transfusions from American Red Cross blood donors, and I have a son in the military, so it’s difficult for me to pick my favorite gift. I’m sure you will understand how difficult it can be to choose just one when you visit the catalog.
That said, one very special opportunity we have is called the Gift of the Month. It’s $300, and each month, the person you’re honoring will see a different gift being made in their name.
Holiday Mail for Heroes
Another way we’re celebrating the holidays is through the Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. Our goal is to send 1 million holiday cards to veterans, men and women serving in armed forces, and military families. Having a son in the Air Force, I can tell you that these cards mean a great deal, particularly when service members are separated from their families during the holidays. It’s a way to show support and give an emotional and spiritual boost to those who need it this time of year. It’s one of my favorite programs we have at the American Red Cross, and a simple, yet incredibly meaningful way to honor those who are sacrificing everything to serve our nation. I hope you will join us in sending a message of hope to our men and women in uniform.
Thank you for checking out these special holiday opportunities. I wish you a safe, happy, healthy and peaceful holiday season.