Red or Dead.

The British Red Cross in Jersey has had a voluntary committee since the end of the occupation raising money for international projects and emergency response.  A new committee has just been appointed, headed by Andrew Baudains.

The Red Cross has been celebrating World Red Cross Red Crescent Day on 8 May since the First World War and it is now celebrated as part of Red Cross Appeal Week in 187 countries around the world. This was launched in Jersey in 2007 to raise money for the Disaster Fund, which allows the Red Cross to be on constant standby to respond to emergencies anywhere in the world within 48 hours. The Red Cross continually deals with the humanitarian consequences of climate change and since the world is hit an estimated 300-500 times per year by natural disasters such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, storms, strong winds, torrential rains and mudslides – this fund is invaluable to the work of the Red Cross.

Harry McRandle and friends have organised a ?Dare to Wear Red Lunch? at The Club Hotel & Spa with music from the Text Messengers, on Sunday 3rd May. This event will launch the fundraising week and then from Tuesday to Friday volunteers will be collecting in various Sandpiper stores across the Island and also in King Street during lunch hours.  On Liberation Day there will be a marquee on the site of the Weighbridge which will have displays of the international projects that the Red Cross is involved with.  Volunteers will be dressed in 1940?s British Red Cross nurses outfits and there will be lots of fun things to do such as ?guessing the contents of a Red Cross food parcel?.  On the 8th May, a talk will be given in assembly at Grand Vaux Primary School.  This day also marks the World Red Cross Red Crescent Day which celebrates the birthday of Henry Dunant who founded the Red Cross in 1862 in response to the wounded soldiers of the Battle of Solferino, which sees its 150th anniversary this year.

How does your money help when you donate to an emergency appeal?

One example is the recent cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe which has claimed 4,000 lives since December last year and 90,000 people have contracted the disease.  The Red Cross launched an appeal to help and have so far trained 469 volunteers and health personnel who have reached over 52,000 people with cholera prevention messages, stressing the importance of hand washing, boiling drinking water and cooking food thoroughly.  They have also been working tirelessly to distribute blankets, jerry cans, bars of soap, latrines and water purification tablets.  This appeal is still in urgent need of funds to help reach the most vulnerable.

In 2008, collections and individual donations in Jersey helped to raise an amazing £22,600 for 7 British Red Cross emergency appeals. Last year ?Red Cross Appeal Week? in Jersey raised just over £10,000 and this needs to be doubled in 2009.  Every penny counts! Just £2 can buy a food parcel, £10 trains a life-saver, £500 could buy 2,000 bars of soap to be distributed to help with the cholera crisis in Zimbabwe or £1,000 could provide sheeting to shelter 95 families after a disaster like an earthquake.

If you would like to help with collections, fundraising or making a donation to either the Disaster Fund or Zimbabwe Cholera Appeal then please contact Sara Clews, Area Fundraising Manager on 639895 or at British Red Cross, PO Box 196, Jersey JE4 9RX.