Where your money goes when donating to the Red Cross

Local News

Whether it be a hurricane, wildfires or other crises, the American Red Cross is there. 

“We’re on the ground for a long, long time addressing the needs of folks that really have taken a hard hit, and we need to help them get back on their feet,” said Rich Woodruff, Utah Region Director of Communications.

This is only possible through the generosity of donors like you. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the American Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.

Here are just some of the efforts your charitable donation supports when you give to the Red Cross:

1. Disaster Relief

Disasters can leave homes (along with everything in them) decimated or otherwise uninhabitable, often resulting in displaced families. In 2016, donations helped the Red Cross provide families with more than 206,000 overnight stays in safe locations and more than 4.1 million meals and snacks.

When a family is struck by disaster and displaced, they may lose nearly everything they own. That includes not only life-sustaining necessities such as shelter, food and medical care, but also the things we often take for granted — blankets, bedding, batteries and tools, even pet food. In total, the American Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year ».

2. Home Fires

Some disasters are much more personal, often affecting a single family rather than a large part of the population. More than 90 percent of Red Cross responses each year are the result of home fires. The Red Cross provides food, cleaning supplies and other necessities to families recovering from home fires. If the fire department determines that it’s not safe for these families to remain in their homes, the Red Cross may provide emergency shelter in recovery centers or other locations.

Donor dollars also fund the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign », which has enabled staff and volunteers to install hundreds of thousands of smoke alarms and other fire safety improvements in U.S. homes. Since launching the campaign in 2014, the campaign has helped save over 200 lives and our work continues.

3. Training and Certification Courses

Responding to disasters requires manpower, and approximately 90 percent of American Red Cross responders are volunteers. Many have never had any formal experience in the area of emergency response, so training and certifying them is a primary focus of the Red Cross.

Whether trainees are going to volunteer with the Red Cross, get certified in First Aid/CPR for employment purposes or want to ensure they are prepared for emergencies, they can get their training online and in classrooms thanks to the Red Cross. Red Cross courses teach over 6 million people each year the skills that save lives and prepare for disaster.

4. Help to Military Families

More than 1 million Americans serve the U.S. armed forces in some capacity, and the American Red Cross is there for them, working 24/7 to support them during deployment and emergencies and providing home comforts and services to those serving on bases and in military hospitals worldwide.

We have a broad range of initiatives, such as overseas visits from Red Cross dogs to boost morale, as well as delivering emergency communications between those serving and their loved ones back home. These services mean the world to the servicemen and servicewomen who are serving their country.

Aid from the Red Cross begins with the first day of enlistment », but it doesn’t end after active duty. The Red Cross provides these same services to our nation’s veterans.

5. Health Care and Blood Drives

The American Red Cross is the nation’s largest supplier of blood and blood services. Your donation helps the Red Cross collect blood through blood drives and supply it to hospitals and transfusion centers across the U.S., an initiative launched during World War II.

We also play a leading role in protecting the safety of donors and patients and increasing the availability of blood. We have been among the first to help develop and implement testing for infectious diseases and we’re frequently the single major contributor to clinical trials to improve blood safety. Providing life-saving blood and blood products to patients » is a key component of the Red Cross mission to help people in times of emergency and disasters.

6. International Efforts

Working with our global Red Cross and Red Crescent partners, the American Red Cross helps millions of people around the world ». We assist those affected by crises in their countries, reconnect families separated by war or disaster, and help communities prepare for future disasters.

For more information visit redcross.org.

Support all the urgent humanitarian needs of the American Red Cross and donate today. 

Donate online 

Click here to donate online.

Donate by mail

To donate by check or to a specific cause, please complete this donation form by printing and mailing to:
American Red Cross 
PO Box 37839
Boone, IA 50037-0839

Donate by phone

To donate by phone or to get assistance with your donation, please contact us at 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669).

You can also reach us at:
Español: 1-800-435-7669
TDD Operator: 1-800-220-4095

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