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Lending a Helping Hand Year-Round

This week’s Convenience Matters podcast talks about how retailers can partner with the American Red Cross.
August 30, 2017

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In this week’s episode of Convenience Matters, Jackie Held, senior manager of cause marketing for the American Red Cross, talks about how retailers and suppliers can get involved both in times of need, like now in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and year-round.

According to the Red Cross, at press time, more than 1,800 people took refuge from the deadly storm Saturday night in 34 Red Cross and community shelters in Texas. In Louisiana, one shelter is open where eight people spent Saturday night. These numbers are expected to grow as flooding continues, with dozens of additional shelters potentially opening. Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from all over the country are on the ground now, working around the clock to provide safe shelter and comfort to people impacted by this devastating storm. 

NACS became the first retail association to partner with the Red Cross and is streamlining the process for retailers who would like to implement donation campaigns within their stores benefitting the Red Cross for their stores. NACS also has a direct link to the Red Cross, and retailers can link to this page from their own home pages.

In areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey, in addition to monetary donations, the Red Cross will happily accept donations of products (water, food, etc.), use of lot space, use of refrigerated trucks and more. Read more in the NACS reFresh Community Toolkit on ways you can get involved.

The Red Cross is “the largest humanitarian organization in the U.S. We are in every community across the country—downtown, down the street—and we are responding to a disaster every 8 minutes which equates to about 64,000 disasters a year,” Held said. Volunteers respond to home fires most frequently on a daily basis.

The Red Cross relies almost completely on the generosity of volunteers. Retailers can help give volunteers a meeting spot inside and outside of stores as well as reward volunteers for their work. Red Cross volunteers may have branded jackets, vests and/or T-shirts when working. It is important to let those volunteers know what you have available, so communicate your offer via in-store signage and social media. Further, you can email NACS’ Carolyn Schnare at cschnare@convenience.org and she will pass this information along to the Red Cross immediately.

A new Convenience Matters podcast is released every week focusing on topics related to convenience stores.