Helping the American Red Cross on Giving Tuesday

(WZAW) -- After the shopping rush of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes the charitable day called Giving Tuesday. This year, the American Red Cross is asking everyone to help them support their mission to provide shelter, food and comfort to people across the country whose lives are upended by disasters.

Trevor Riggen, American Red Cross Vice President of Disaster Cycle services, joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 on Tuesday to explain how we can support people in need. He said that can be done by providing both financial and blood donations.

“Every eight minutes, the generosity of our donors enables us to help someone affected by a disaster," Riggen said. “From flooding to hurricanes to fires, Red Cross volunteers were there every day when those suffering needed us most in the aftermath of disasters."

Riggen said there are many ways you can help. People can make a tax-deductible donation at redcross.org/gift in honor of loved ones. Here are some options:

- Help disaster victims in the U.S.: A gift of $50 can deliver hot meals for five people or provide blankets for 10 people after a disaster, or a larger donation of $100 can provide a family of two with a full day’s worth of emergency shelter, including meals, snacks, blankets, cots and hygiene supplies.

- Help military members and veterans: A donation of $50 can help connect veterans and their families to critical community services, such as food, housing, mental health support and rehabilitation. A larger gift of $145 can provide hospital kits, filled with toiletries and other essentials, for 20 service members.

- Help save lives internationally: People can support our work with the Measles & Rubella Initiative, which provides vaccinations for children and educates families about the dangers of measles and rubella. A gift of $100 can help provide lifesaving vaccinations for 100 children facing an increased risk of measles and rubella around the world.

Also, the holidays are a difficult time to collect blood because of busy schedules and inclement weather. Still, the need for blood is constant to help accident victims, cancer patients and others who rely on lifesaving blood products every day. You can make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by visiting RedCrossBlood.org.