Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Texas State women's basketball player and Haitian American Tamara Evans-Sluga makes a personal plea for relief donations for Haiti in this video:

The team collected $250 for the Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund at their game this past Saturday.  Go Bobcats!

Have an idea for a fundraiser to benefit Red Cross?  Visit our website to see how you can Fund Red! 

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The Red Cross of Central Texas proudly announces the beginning of the Red Tote of Hope initiative.  A cornerstone of the Red Cross mission is to support and serve the men and women of the American Armed Forces.  As part of this mission, The Red Tote of Hope aims to help as many homeless veterans by providing them with comfort items for daily living.

We are asking the public to donate new basic items that will be put in red totes and given to homeless veterans in the Central Texas area. 

Donations will be accepted February 1st through the 25th at the following locations:

American Red Cross of Central Texas
2218 Pershing Drive
Austin, TX 78723

Carl's Jr. Locations:
609 W Slaughter Lane
Austin, TX 78748 - Map

1315 E Whitestone Blvd
Cedar Park, TX 78613 - Map

711 Highway 71 W
Bastrop, TX 78602 - Map

2219 S IH 35
San Marcos, TX 78666 - Map

  • Socks
  • Toothbrushes/toothpaste
  • Plastic caddy for toothbrushes
  • Dental floss
  • Deodorant
  • Liquid soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disposable razors/shaving cream
  • Nail clippers
  • 1st aid kits
  • Combs/brushes
  • Rain ponchos
  • Fleece throws
  • Flashlights
  • Tissues
  • Antibacterial ointment
  • Baby wipes or hand wipes
  • Batteries
  • Band aids
  • Deck of cards
  • Bus passes
  • Pocket pack facial tissues 
“Some of the most important work we do at the Red Cross is our service to the military.  The Red Tote of Hope is one small way that we can give back to those who have given so much.  It is a chance for everyone in Central Texas to say thank you to those who have served,”
-Elaine Acker, CEO
The Central Texas Red Cross helps five to six military families every day. Our services range from financial assistance to relaying emergency messages between deployed soldiers to their families.   Those wishing to make a financial donation to the Central Texas Red Cross can donate online, call 512-928-4271 or send or bring a check to 2218 Pershing Drive, Austin, TX 78723.

For further information please contact Marty McKellips at (512) 929-1293 or Amir Roohi at (512) 929-1221


Thursday, January 14, 2010



WASHINGTON, January 14, 2010 – With estimates that as many as three million people may be affected by the catastrophic earthquake which hit Haiti Tuesday, the American Red Cross is releasing an additional $9 million for earthquake relief, bringing its total commitment so far to $10 million to support relief efforts in Haiti.

Priority needs in Haiti are food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.  Thousands of local Red Cross volunteers are aiding their fellow Haitians.  American Red Cross Disaster management specialists are scheduled to arrive today from the United States, Peru and Mexico to join local Red Cross staff already on the ground in the disaster zone.  As soon as airports begin accepting relief shipments, tarps, hygiene items and cooking sets for approximately 5,000 families will come from the Red Cross warehouse in Panama.

The American Red Cross is also helping the injured who may need blood.  More than 100 units of blood and blood products were shipped to the U.S. Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida, and then on to Guantanamo Bay to help Haitian evacuees and patients.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has a plane full of mostly medical items on the way to Haiti from Geneva.  ICRC staff, including engineers, a surgeon and family linking specialists are expected to arrive in Port-au-Prince this morning.  Other Red Cross partners have deployed a mobile hospital, medical teams, and 40 staff to help with sheltering, providing water, sanitation, and telecommunications.

ICRC is helping reconnect separated families in Haiti through a special web site which enables people in Haiti and outside the country to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake.  In the first twenty-four hours, more than 6,000 people have been registered.

Countless requests have come from people wanting to help.  The best way to do that is to make a donation to the American Red Cross International Response Fund at or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Donors can designate their gifts to Haiti relief.  Donations to the International Response Fund allows the American Red Cross to respond to global emergencies and disasters.

In addition, several hundred thousand people have chosen to make a mobile donation.  Donors can text "Haiti" to 90999 on their cell phone to send a $10 donation to support Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.  The mobile giving effort raised more than $3 million by Thursday morning, and all money raised goes to support Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.


Check out how your local Red Cross is being impacted by the relief efforts in Haiti:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


WASHINGTON, Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The American Red Cross is sending money, supplies and staff to Haiti to support relief efforts there after yesterday’s earthquake, which caused catastrophic damage and loss of life.
According to reports, as many as three million people may have been affected by the quake, which collapsed government buildings and caused major damage to hospitals in the area.
The Red Cross is contributing an initial $1 million from the International Response Fund to support the relief operation, and has opened its warehouse in Panama to provide tarps, mosquito nets and cooking sets for approximately 5,000 families.

In addition to Red Cross staff already in Haiti, six disaster management specialists are being deployed to the disaster zone to help coordinate relief efforts. At this time, the American Red Cross is only deploying volunteers specially trained to manage international emergency operations.

There has been an outpouring of support from the public. To help, people can make an unrestricted donation to the International Response Fund at or by calling 512.929.1251. The public can also help by texting “Haiti” to 90999 to send a $10 donation to the Red Cross, through an effort backed by the U.S. State Department. Funds will go to support American Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

Debris and collapsed bridges are making access to many areas extremely difficult. Telephone service and electricity are out in many places. Haitian Red Cross staff worked throughout the night to rescue people still trapped in their homes and provide first aid. The priority remains to provide food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support.

The American Red Cross already had fifteen staff in Haiti providing ongoing HIV/AIDS prevention and disaster preparedness programs. All are reported to be safe and responding to the disaster.

To date, there have been no requests for blood products from the government of Haiti. However, some patients at an affected facility in Haiti have been moved to a Guantanamo Bay hospital, and the Armed Services Blood Program has asked both the Red Cross and Florida Blood Services for support for those patients. In addition, the American Red Cross will be sending a shipment of blood products to the United Nations Mission in Haiti.

While communication with those in Haiti is still difficult, people should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services at 1-888-407-4747 if trying to reach a U.S. citizen living or traveling in Haiti. If trying to reach a Haitian citizen, callers should continue to call or contact other family members who live nearby.

  • We are not accepting volunteers to travel to Haiti. If you would like to volunteer for the American Red Cross, please contact your local chapter.
  • For inquiries about relatives living and who have citizenship in Haiti, please be patient and call repeatedly until the lines clear or contact other family members who live nearby. Telephone, Internet and other communication lines are often disrupted in times of disaster.
  • People trying to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Haiti should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225.

Photo: American Red Cross
Photo: Matthew Marek, American Red Cross

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Bone chilling temperatures have gripped much of the country, and the American Red Cross urges everyone to be safe and prepare as much as possible.  

Many are looking to cut down on expenses when temperatures drop and home-heating costs rise. “There is usually an increase in home fires at this time of year because of the use of candles and space heaters,” said Elaine Acker, CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Texas.“We have steps people can follow to reduce their risk of starting a fire in their home, and still cut down on their heating bills.”

  • All heaters need space! Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, fireplaces and stoves. 
  • Place portable space heaters on a hard, level, nonflammable surface.  Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away.  Look for a model that shuts off automatically if the space heater tips over.   
  • Do not use heating equipment to dry wet clothing.    
  • Never use the stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Never leave portable heaters, wood burning stoves or fireplaces unattended.  Turn them off before leaving or going to bed.   
  • Keep the fire in the fireplace by using a glass or metal screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.

  • Eliminate drafts. Use either insulating tape or caulking strips to surround windows and door moldings.  Cover your windows with plastic sheeting.  If you have storm windows or storm doors, get them up to keep the cold out. 
  • Make sure heat vents aren’t blocked by furniture. 
  • Turn down the thermostat.  
  • Close off any rooms that aren’t in use and close heat vents or turn off radiators in those rooms. 
  • Insulate your light switch and outlet plates with foam pads. Cold air can seep into the house through them. 
  • Use heavy curtains to keep cold air out.  Open them during the day to let the sun help warm your home and close them at night.  Use fabric snakes or old carpets in front of windows and doors to help eliminate drafts.
  • Turn off vent fans in the kitchen and bathroom when they are no longer needed.   
  • Set ceiling fans to blow air down. 

  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing. Don’t forget gloves or mittens, and a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry and to maintain footing in ice and snow. 
  • Don’t forget pets – bring them indoors.  If that’s not possible, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water. 
  • Check on people who require special assistance such as elderly people living alone, people with disabilities and children.

For more information please call the Red Cross at 512.928.4271 or go to