There’s Good News and There’s Bad News

Written by: Patty Flowers, Regional Chief Executive Officer

The good news is that there is enough money in the United States for the American Red Cross to use to fulfill our mission and provide the services needed.  The bad news is it’s still in your pockets.

In the United States, the reason cited by people on why they don’t give to a charity is because they haven’t been asked.  Well, we are trying to fix that!

The vast majority of dollars received by the Red Cross for disaster relief, blood collecting, service to our armed forces, international relief, and education for prevention and safety comes from people and corporations like you.   And yes, we are very grateful for all of our incredible donors.  But years like 2012 and 2013 so far have put a drain on our resources – how many 500 year storms can we have in just 18 months?   Not being a government agency, we truly rely on the American people’s donations to help us be able to respond to all these disasters and provide immediate needs for those who are affected.

Did you know that the Red Cross responded to over 70,000 disasters last year alone?  Of these, many are house fires.   Close your eyes for a minute and imagine that your house/apartment/condo/trailer/etc. has just burned to the ground with everything in it.  What would be your first steps and where would you go?  Some of us are fortunate to have some savings and relatives who will help us out but many do not have those luxuries.  Many of the people affected in Wisconsin by home fires are barely making it and then they lose it all.  That’s where the American Red Cross steps in with our incredible volunteers taking care of immediate needs for food, clothing and shelter; then we help walk them through next steps toward recovery.


I am proud of the fact that on average 91 cents of every dollar spent by the Red Cross goes to our programs and services.  That is a phenomenal average and one I shout to the heavens whenever and wherever I can.  We are an efficient, organized company and we’re getting out there spreading our messages as fast as we can because we need to ask you to help us, to join us as a financial partner in helping provide all that is needed in our communities.

The bad news is we don’t have enough staff to make all personal asks.  The good news is you can help by donating to the Red Cross.  Volunteer, give blood, and/or make a financial commitment to help us stay as efficient as we are and walk with us into our communities, help our troops in the armed forces, or prevent tragedies from occurring.  To donate by phone, call 1-800-REDCROSS; click to donate at our website; or text the word redcross to 90999 to donate $10 which will appear on your cell phone bill.

If you would like a personal visit to learn more about giving to the American Red Cross, please call me at (414) 345-8640 or email me at   Thank you!

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