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Recognize disaster relief organizations in May

When: May 21

What: In 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the Atlantic coast, killing 285 and displacing thousands. As wildfire and hurricane season approaches, many are likely to be similarly affected. Thankfully, people often find support in local and national disaster relief efforts. Recognize aid organizations like the American Red Cross on the anniversary of its founding on May 21.

Background: The International Committee of the Red Cross was formed in 1863, while its American affiliate came together on May 21, 1881. Since then, the organization has become the model for blood donation and disaster relief services.

Story Pitch: The American Red Cross provides a variety of services, including aid to the needy, support for military members and their families, safety and health education, and international relief and development programs. International and community based organizations that work in these areas, as well as companies that provide products that are crucial to this work, can take this day to highlight their work and instances in which they have worked with the Red Cross. Local groups that provide everything from disaster relief to food donations will want to discuss their upcoming efforts and opportunities for volunteering. Transporting relief to people is a major part of disaster response, and companies that work in time-sensitive logistics can talk about specific instances where their supply networks and methods made disaster relief efforts possible.

Story Hook: According to a Gallup Poll, even in times of widespread hardship, people still donate to charity and relief funds the same as in times of greater stability. What are some other ways people can give to relief efforts? Keep the following in mind when making your pitch:

  • What are some ways in which people’s lives are changed when hit by disaster?
  • How can businesses contribute to relief organizations?
  • What long-term support do disaster survivors need?
  • What are other services that relief and support organizations provide?

Tips: Be sure to provide contact information for a local relief organizer or groups who can also put you in touch with people helped by relief organizations.

Resources:

American Red Cross
(703) 584-8400
www.redcross.org

Federal Emergency Management Agency
(800) 621-3362
www.fema.gov

Habitat for Humanity
(229) 924-6935
www.habitat.org

The United Nations Children’s Fund
(800) 367-5437
www.unicefusa.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Nicholas Testa
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events

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