by Carol Grinage, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas Region
It’s Christmas time, and we are all on the hunt for that perfect Christmas gift. You know the gift that will keep giving and won’t be tossed in the back of the closet after the holidays are over or company has left.
One solution is a consumable. What is a consumable? In the easiest terms, it is a gift the recipient uses or experiences and enjoys and doesn’t leave clutter. The typical suggestions are usually movie passes or gift certificates to restaurants, but then you are left with the question of whether the recipient goes to movies or the type of food the person likes to eat.
A gift idea that doesn’t involve movies or food is the gift of classes from the American Red Cross. Classes in first aid and CPR are perfect for the person on your list who likes to learn and who always wants to be prepared. This could be your friend who has stockpiled enough food and water for six months in preparation for a natural disaster.
For the teens and pre-teens on your list, the Red Cross offers class they would enjoy. A babysitting and childcare class is perfect for your pre-teen who is begging to babysit but doesn’t know much about babysitting or how to care for children. A gift of this class would alleviate fears you have of them not being prepared for an emergency while caring for someone’s children. A lifeguarding class would be perfect for your teen who spends the summer at the pool but needs to get a summer job. Can you imagine how thrilled this teen would be to know they can still spend their summers at the pool and earn money at the same time?
For the person on your list who loves to read and loves to learn but is housebound, the Red Cross offers online classes. These classes are online only, meaning the person does not need to leave the house to take the class. All that is needed is a computer and an Internet connection. Some of the online classes offered include first aid and CPR.
What if you want to simply give something to help others? If this is the case, you can donate money to the American Red Cross in your name or in someone else’s name. The gift of money goes to help people in need, and on average, 90 cents on every dollar donated is invested in delivering care and comfort to those in need.
Your donation can help people affected by disasters, like home fires. It can provide snacks, blankets, shelter, hygiene essentials, financial assistance and more to meet the needs of people in their darkest hours. These simple items can be all someone has left and provide the hope, care and comfort needed most.
To personalize a gift with meaning, you can choose which part of the organization’s mission most closely connects with the person you’re gifting. Donate toward supporting military communities, infants supplies at a shelter, blankets and comfort kits for people affected by disasters, vaccinations for children around the world and more.
Perhaps the most important gift of all costs the giver nothing and can save a life. The gift of a blood donation is always needed. For only an hour of your time, your blood donation can save up to three lives. Blood is needed across the country and is distributed to hospitals for patients in need. Give the gift of life by scheduling your appointment today at www.redcrossblood.org.
To register for a class or to donate money or blood, go to www.redcross.org for additional information.