MONTGOMERY, AL - This holiday season, when economic conditions are tough and people really want their gifts to matter, the American Red Cross is kicking off a new holiday campaign that offers a way to give a gift that has real impact.
"We know that these are difficult times for many families and businesses in the Montgomery area, but the Red Cross has seen that when Americans are in need, America always responds," said Jackie Buck, CEO of the American Red Cross of Central Alabama. "The holiday season is traditionally a time of hope and generosity, and this campaign gives us all a chance to make a difference in someone's life."
The holiday giving campaign is being launched at a time when a new national survey for the American Red Cross finds that support for charitable giving remains strong even as many people are tightening their belts on gift-buying and other activities. The Red Cross survey found that 29 percent are cutting back on money spent on holiday gifts, 31 percent are planning to spend less for parties this year, 40 percent are cutting back on spending for holiday decorations, and 44 percent are reducing their travel costs. The survey, conducted November 5-8, shows that nearly one in four (23%) had their salary or hours reduced this year, with 14 percent saying they had been laid off from their job and 41 percent losing money in the stock market. However, 67 percent say that because of the economy, it is more important this year to give something to charity.
Although retail sales are projected to remain flat this holiday season, online holiday gift-giving is expected to grow by 4 percent. Following this trend, people buying gifts online this holiday season can make an online donation to the Red Cross in the name of someone special. Gifts made through the catalog are contributions towards a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item. The donations will be used to provide assistance where it is needed most within the program area; remaining money is put to use where it is needed most.