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Red Cross Responds To Growing Humanitarian Needs
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In 2023, the intensifying climate crisis took a devastating toll on people in the U.S. who turned to the American Red Cross for help coping with a record number of billion-dollar disasters.

So far this year, an all-time high of 25 billion-dollar disasters — including the catastrophic atmospheric rivers and flooding throughout California in January 2023 — ravaged communities across the country. In addition, families sweltered in the nation’s hottest summer on record, including in communities that rarely experience such extreme temperatures. And back-to-back disasters led to a series of blood drive cancellations, which further strained the national Red Cross blood supply that was already dwindling from summer travel and back-to-school activities.

“The climate crisis is causing more humanitarian needs for families throughout our region and across the country,” said Hanna Malak, Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region CEO. “This holiday season, please remember those who need support in the face of emergencies — and join us to provide care and comfort by making a financial donation and by giving blood or platelets.”

Help during the holidays by visiting to make a financial donation or an appointment to give blood or platelets. Individuals can also register for volunteer opportunities in their area.


Increasing Support Amid The Climate Crisis

With the growing frequency and intensity of disasters driven by the climate crisis, the Red Cross is racing to adapt its services and grow its disaster response capacity across the country. As part of this national work in 2023, the Red Cross distributed $108 million in financial assistance directly to people after disasters of all sizes, including those affected by the California storms and floods, Hurricane Idalia, the Hawaii wildfires and a spate of tornadoes across multiple states.

Across the country, the Red Cross is delivering this vital financial assistance on top of its immediate relief efforts — including safe shelter, nutritious meals and emotional support — which have been provided on a near-constant basis for this year’s relentless extreme disasters. In fact, this year’s onslaught of large disasters drove an increase in emergency lodging provided by the Red Cross with partners — with overnight stays up more than 50 percent compared to the annual average for the previous five years.


Responding To Additional Emerging Needs

Beyond the climate crisis, people stepped up through the Red Cross to address other emerging needs for communities, including:

Blood Donations – As the nation’s largest blood supplier, the Red Cross is grateful for the millions of donors who rolled up a sleeve throughout the year for patients in need. To further improve people’s health outcomes, the Red Cross has been working with community partners to introduce blood donation to a new and more diverse generation of blood donors, which is critical to ensuring that a reliable blood supply is available to the one in seven hospital patients who need a lifesaving blood transfusion. The holidays can be a challenging time to collect enough blood for those in need. To book a time to give, visit, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App or call 1-800-RED CROSS. As a thank you, all who come to give blood, platelets or plasma by Dec. 17 will receive a $10 Gift Card by email. Terms apply. See

Lifesaving Training – This year, the Red Cross expanded its training to empower people to act during current-day crises, which is vital considering that nearly half of U.S. adults report being unprepared to respond to a medical emergency. This included launching the new “Until Help Arrives” online training course last spring for opioid overdoses, severe bleeding, cardiac arrest and choking emergencies, and partnering with professional sports leagues through the Smart Heart Sports Coalition to help prevent tragedies among student athletes by offering CPR training and increasing access to AEDs.

Military Families – Red Cross workers helped service members on U.S. military installations and deployment sites worldwide, including in Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. As part of the support this year, Red Cross volunteers delivered emergency communications messages connecting more than 87,000 service members with their loved ones during times of family need, while also engaging members in morale and wellness activities during deployments.


The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit or, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.