By Beth Kilchenman
American Red Cross
In early September, the American Red Cross launched a $100 million nationwide fundraising campaign called the Campaign for Disaster Relief: Disasters Change Lives. You Can Too. We are past the halfway point, raising more than $60 million in cash and pledges.
In support of our Campaign for Disaster Relief, there will be a National Day of Giving for the American Red Cross on Dec. 13.
This campaign ensures that the Red Cross will continue to provide disaster relief.
The disaster relief fund was depleted as a result of a year with disasters like the severe flooding of the central United States and the numerous hurricanes that made landfall.
In response to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike alone, the Red Cross opened more than 820 shelters, provided more than 435,000 overnight stays, served almost 14.5 million meals and snacks, completed 527 Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles deployments, distributed almost 210,000 clean-up and comfort kits and deployed more than 22,000 Red Cross workers and more than 21,000 volunteers to relief operations. Our current best estimated cost for the hurricanes of 2008 is expected to exceed $120 million.
You can donate to the Red Cross by going to www.redcross.org. You also can use your cell phone to donate $5 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by text messaging the keyword â€œGIVEâ€ (4483) to â€œ2HELP (24357). You can send multiple donations depending on your carrier. Contributions will appear on monthly bills or be debited from a prepaid account balance. All applicable text rates apply.
Everyone can play a role in the American Red Cross/J.M. Smucker Chocolate Festival next year. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Community Center at the Medina County Fairgrounds. Last year, more than 5,000 people attended from Medina County and all over the state.
If you have a business that creates chocolate items, you can be a chocolatier at the festival. Or, perhaps you would like to associate your name with the event by being a sponsor.
If you are looking for a holiday gift or stocking stuffer for your favorite chocoholic, Chocolate Festival tickets at $5 and $10 are now available.
Finally, on Feb. 6, the Decadent Chocolate Dessert and Chocolate Cookie contests will be held at Buehlerâ€™s River Styx. Anyone who likes to bake with chocolate, from pre-school children to professional chefs, can participate in the various categories. Entry forms are available at the Red Cross.
For more information, contact me at the Red Cross at 330-723-4565 or toll free at 877-441-4565.
Kilchenman may be reached at 330-723-4565.