Thursday, November 29, 2018

History-Making Hurricane Season Ends; Red Cross Work Continues

After five months, a history-making hurricane season ends today. While the season may be ending, the American Red Cross continues to deliver relief and comfort to impacted communities.

Brionna, age 5, sits close with Linette Ransom
at the Mullins Recreation Center.
In the last five months, the Red Cross has served more than 3.4 million meals and snacks with its partners, distributed more than 642,700 relief items and provided more than 182,000 overnight shelter stays to people impacted by various hurricanes.

One of those storms impacted communities here in South Carolina. The Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross was right there, helping our neighbors before, during and after the impact from Hurricane Florence. Together with its partners, the Palmetto SC Red Cross served more than 210,000 meals and snacks and provided more than 24,000 overnight shelter stays.

Throughout this hurricane season, 360 disaster workers from South Carolina deployed to eight hurricane responses, including Hurricane Florence. Many of them deployed multiple times.

A group of volunteers, assisting with the Red Cross
Hurricane Florence relief efforts, gather for a photo.

“The work from our disaster workers this hurricane season has been inspiring,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer. “Again and again these heroes jumped right into action to help our neighbors, both here in South Carolina and across the country. We are so thankful for them and their unwavering commitment to preventing and alleviating human suffering.”

In addition to responding to hurricanes, local Red Cross disaster workers also responded to wildfires in California and other devastating disasters. Currently, seven people are in California.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Severe Blood Shortage: Blood and Platelet Donors Urgently Needed

What: The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage and urges eligible blood and platelet donors to give now.  

Why: The Red Cross collected over 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations during September and October than what hospitals needed. The shortfall in donations is largely a result of fewer groups signing up to host blood drives over the last two months. Additionally, hurricanes Florence and Michael forced thousands of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected due to widespread blood drive cancellations that further depleted the blood supply.

How can I help: 
1.     Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).  
2.     Let your friends and family know there is a blood shortage and ask them to #GiveNow. Eligible donors of all blood types are needed to help ensure the Red Cross can meet the needs of patients every day and is prepared for emergencies that require significant volumes of donated blood. 
3.     Bring someone to donate with you.  
4.     Host a blood drive this winter to prevent a prolonged blood shortage.

When: Now. Your support can help ensure that blood products are there for trauma victims, premature babies, patients going through cancer treatment and others who rely on the generosity of volunteer donors.  

Jessicca Haveman knows the impact of blood donations,
so she gives as often as she can.
Who needs blood: Jessicca Haveman needed an emergency cesarean section to give birth to her daughter. Because her blood was not clotting normally, Jessicca had to receive three blood transfusions. Today, she is thankful for the blood products that were available in her time of need, and she donates to give back.

“I couldn’t imagine having to go to the hospital and be told my or my child’s life couldn’t be saved because there is no blood available,” said Jessicca.

Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives.

Don’t wait. Donate.  

Monday, November 12, 2018

South Carolina Red Cross Volunteers Deploy to California

Volunteers from the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross have once again left their homes to help people in need. This time in California as wildfires rage out of control.

A wildfire evacuee watches the news while
staying in a Red Cross shelter.
So far, six volunteers from South Carolina have deployed to California. Three volunteers are helping with the Camp Fire. The other three volunteers are assisting with the fires in Ventura Country. While in California, the volunteers will be assigned to specific jobs, which include providing hot meals to those in need, coordinating the movement of needed supplies or providing disaster spiritual care to evacuees staying in shelters.

“I am in awe of our volunteers who continue to help our neighbors in need,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer. “Their passion for helping other is endless, and their dedication to the Red Cross is unmatched.”

Two volunteers are from the Lowcountry SC Chapter (Ladson and Summerville). One is from the Central SC Chapter (Columbia). One is from the Eastern SC Chapter (Conway). Two are from the Upstate SC Chapter (Abbeville).

This is in addition to the 12 volunteers who are in North Carolina and Florida assisting with the recovery efforts for Hurricanes Michael and Florence.

If you want to volunteer with the Red Cross, go to to fill out an application.