Stakeholder Statement - The American Red Cross Loading...
Gail J. McGovern
President and CEO
The American Red Cross disaster relief program focuses on meeting people’s basic needs immediately after a disaster, and later being there longer-term for those most affected. Everything we are able to do in this area is because of the wonderful support of donors, volunteers, and partners like UPS.
In the four and a half months after Superstorm Sandy made landfall, we provided shelter stays for 81,000 people, delivered 16 million meals and snacks, distributed 7 million relief items, and provided nearly 113,000 health and mental health contacts for people in the area. Months after the storm, our long-term recovery program is focusing on helping 9,000 families whose homes were heavily damaged or destroyed.
Being prepared for that level of response is a team effort. Just within our own organization, the response to Sandy included Red Cross volunteers from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, plus Puerto Rico and American Samoa. We also rely heavily on the generous financial support we receive from corporations such as UPS that participate in our Annual Disaster Giving Program.
Some of our corporate partners are even more instrumental in creating an effective response operation, and UPS stands out as an excellent example of partnership in action. When it was clear that Sandy was going to do serious damage in a highly populated area, UPS helped us to preposition Red Cross response trailers that were packed with relief supplies. We were already in an advanced stage of readiness due to logistics advice that we received from UPS in recent years, so we were better prepared than we’ve ever been for a disaster of this magnitude.
"Our best corporate partners help the American Red Cross become a better organization from top to bottom...UPS does all of this and more."
In addition to its regular support for the Annual Disaster Giving Program, UPS donated generously toward our response to Superstorm Sandy, and provided critically important transportation services and waves of volunteers. And that’s just for one event.
Our best corporate partners help the American Red Cross become a better organization from top to bottom. They want full transparency in our financials and our governance, so they can turn around and tell our story to their own stakeholders with full confidence. They go behind the scenes to see how we do things and share best practices with us. They support us by holding blood drives where their employees donate some of the 10 million units of blood we provide to hospitals and clinics each year. They help us teach the thousands of CPR and First Aid classes we offer annually.
UPS does all of this and more including volunteering with us during disaster relief efforts through UPS Logistics Action Teams. One of the reasons we are such good partners is that we both approach our missions in a similar way: with strong teamwork and a determination to always get better at what we do. The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters in an average year – from home fires to major disasters like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and wildfires – so we need partners such as UPS that help us throughout the year, in multiple ways, with tremendous generosity and a spirit of collaboration.