All Posts Tagged: Social Media

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Red Cross-the Humanitarian Cause

Volunteering for an organization like the Red Cross is something you should be proud of! Not only are you doing your part to help out, but also because you are lending a hand to people who have faced tragedy and devastation in their lives. Even if you are not able to travel to the area to assist, there are several other ways you can volunteer and make a difference. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can help from afar.

Donate Blood

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Often, supplies of blood run low in areas where something tragic has occurred. When you donate the people who are injured have a chance to heal and get back on their feet. Many times, surgeries require an enormous amount of blood to be given, and this is where you come in. Local communities and the Red Cross host blood drives a few times a year, so don’t let fear stand in your way-it doesn’t hurt, and only takes a little of your time to add to the much needed blood supply.

Take Classes

The Red Cross offers classes that anyone can take that will teach life-saving techniques for many situations. CPR is something that everyone should know, so if you don’t, sign up now to learn how! Knowing CPR could help save a life. Disaster preparedness classes teach you everything you need to know to keep your family safe if a natural disaster should occur where you live. Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires are just a few of the things everyone should be ready for, because you never know how or when disaster will strike.

Get Involved in Your Community

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Locate the community chapter of the Red Cross in your town, and offer to teach classes, talk to the public, or simply host a class taught by a professional. You may be an expert in lifesaving techniques and can instruct others in areas of swimming, babysitting, and more. Your knowledge is a valuable asset that can be put to good use, and your community will appreciate it.

Use Social Media

Take advantage of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Google to spread the word about the Red Cross efforts. Start your own blog or record a video that you can publish on YouTube regarding the Red Cross events across the country. You are going to reach hundreds of thousands of people this way, and you may be surprised at the number of concerned citizens who step up to volunteer their services.

Host a Fundraiser

There are numerous fund raising projects that can help raise money for your local Red Cross chapter. Teens can have a car wash and donate the proceeds, or you can have a “silent auction” to raise money for the cause. Ask your friends and neighbors if they would be willing to donate items that can be auctioned. Businesses are also very willing to donate new items to your event. All you have to do is ask. Bake sales, book sales, and just about anything you can imagine can raise public awareness and money that will be donated back to the Red Cross.

As you can see, there are so many ways you can raise funds to assist this organization in their continuing efforts to help people in need.  The Red Cross depends on the volunteers to make a difference. Incidentally, did you know that the workforce of the Red Cross is 90% volunteers? Join the others who are helping to make a difference in the lives of those who have been hard hit by tragedy. Sometimes just lending a helping hand makes all the difference in the world.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

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The Red Cross, Social Media, and Helping Those in Need

The internet makes it possible to share information all over the world. People from anywhere are able to communicate, share pictures and stories, and in general form a type of “community” all their own. So, are you wondering where this is leading? Of course you are!

Social Media

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Social media is a great way to get the word out anytime something happens, either good or bad, and the directors of the Red Cross know this, in particular, the Social Media Director. This is where the Red Cross hears what people are saying about the organization, and they take all the information quite seriously and look for ways to improve the group and its efforts. If any information is incorrect or simply not true, social media is used as a way to get the truth out there to everyone. Most people are not willing to accept a simple answer because what they are looking for is change.

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The Red Cross didn’t used to be much of a social media user, but in light of events that affected the whole world, the organization realized this was the perfect forum to affect changing times when needed, but it wasn’t until the horrendous and devastating earthquake in Haiti that not only changed the life of these people, but the Red Cross as well. By sponsoring fundraisers and getting the word out on television, radio, and the internet, millions of dollars were raised for the Haiti relief effort. By using social media to inform the public, the Red Cross managed to raise $284 million dollars in donations in just a little over one month.

$80 million of those dollars were sent to Haiti to meet the overwhelming needs of the people living there, and a whopping $20 million dollars was raised because the Red Cross implemented the text message donation page-where people worldwide were asked to text the words “Haiti” from their cell phones. A $10 pledge was all it took to raise all those millions, so imagine how many people donated! The text program still exists today, has the backing of the US State Department, and people can still donate if they wish. Now, that is just one way to put your cell phone to good use, isn’t it?

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Website for Hurricane Effort in Haiti

A separate website was also established, as well as a blog in conjunction with the hurricane effort in Haiti. People who have lost, or are looking for loved ones, can use the blog to communicate with other family members. Flickr brought photos to the public eye, and currently have generated over 1 million views. Facebook and Twitter were able to keep people updated in real time as to the situation in Haiti, publish updates, and other information pertinent to the disaster, proving that social media is a valuable tool, and not just something to play around on. I find it a great source and a wealth of information for anything that is happening in the news today. Yes, some of the information posted may be biased or even incorrect, but compared to years ago when all we had to rely on for incoming news was the radio, newspaper, or television, social media gets the word out faster and spreads further than you can imagine.

Thankfully, the Red Cross of America realized that they were not utilizing everything that was available to them for spreading the word, and made the decision to use social media to call for donations and assistance. Who is to say what would have happened in Haiti if this media was not in place? Surely help would have come, but undoubtedly it would have taken much more time.

I’m sure every man, woman, and undoubtedly some children have heard of the Red Cross in America, but I wonder if everyone actually knows what that Red Cross symbolizes, or what the organization does?

Read More