115d470c-b5fc-469e-b125-41ba37c05d18_300_199.jpgDuring major disasters, many of you write us to offer your help in the form of donations or volunteering. We are always deeply touched by the tremendous outpouring of care and compassion towards those affected.
 
Our ability to provide vital assistance to communities affected by disasters here at home and abroad depends on the generosity of donors throughout the year. We also have to plan our resources carefully in order to respond quickly and effectively.
 
In short, we couldn’t do it without you, and our many years of experience in disaster relief have taught us how to maximize the impact of the assistance provided. Here are two fundamental principles for how you can be truly useful during the next disaster.
 
Why financial donations are critical in an emergency
 
To provide emergency lodging, food and clothing, the Red Cross only accepts financial donations. A main reason for this is that donated items may not always be exactly what the affected individuals need, and they can overwhelm relief operations and be costly to store, process and transport.
 
Instead, we provide vouchers for suppliers with whom we have agreements, which enables individuals to get the essentials they need. This also helps us ensure that we provide the same services to everyone who has been affected — services that meet national standards.
 
There is no question that some people would be very happy to receive your new or used goods. We recommend contacting well-established organizations in the affected community to find out about their current needs and drop-off locations. You can also join a Facebook support group for people affected by the disaster and offer them your goods directly.

There is no question that some people would be very happy to receive your new or used goods. We recommend contacting well-established organizations in the affected community.

In Ottawa: The Salvation Army is accepting donations of clothing, furniture and household items in anticipation of increased requests from residents affected by the windstorm and tornadoes. You can make donations in person at Salvation Army thrift stores. To arrange a donation pick-up for larger items, please call the toll-free donation line at 1-613-247-1435 ext. 228.
Find more info on emergency services from the City of Ottawa.

In Gatineau: Residents wishing to help the victims will be able to drop off donations at the former Sears location on the ground floor of Galeries de Hull (320 boul. Saint-Joseph, Hull sector).
Find more info on emergency services from Ville de Gatineau.

If you're organizing a fundraiser in your community, we encourage you to please let us know by filling out this short community fundraiser form. 

 To learn more about material donations:


 
Why we won’t send you into the field… untrained
 
The Red Cross is the world’s largest humanitarian network. In Canada, we can count on some 5,000 volunteers who have been trained to handle emergency situations. When a local or national disaster strikes, these volunteers are mobilized based on the community’s immediate needs and their individual skills.
 
We regularly recruit volunteers and would be delighted to have you join us, but know that we won’t be sending you to the front lines on your first day! Our selection and training process is designed to ensure that you are fully prepared to respond to a crisis.
 
If this sounds like the right challenge for you, join our team today
 
To learn more about how Red Cross volunteers help during emergency responses: 
 

 
International aid
 
Canadian Red Cross delegates who are deployed during international responses receive intensive and specialized training. You don’t just become a humanitarian worker overnight — it’s a true calling!
 
Although most Canadian delegates work in healthcare, we occasionally look for specialists in operations management, logistics or communications.
 
To learn more about international opportunities, visit: www.redcross.ca/careers