PASCASGOULA, MS (WLOX) – The Southeast Chapter of the American Red Cross has come up with an alternative way to give gifts this holiday season. The new campaign is called "Gifts that Save the Day." Through the organization's new catalog, you can buy everything from phone cards to food to help those in need.
"Instead of going out and buying DVDs, and TVs, and materialistic things, we need to concentrate on giving back to our community," Program Coordinator Molly Moses McGuffee said.
McGuffee said the new Red Cross program is a great way to give and make an impact in the world. She said the idea is to take the focus off of you, and instead, focus on giving to a stranger.
"There was a brand new survey that was just released that confirms that 40 percent of people this holiday season would rather purchase a gift for charity in someone else's name than to go out and buy a gift," McGuffee said.
McGuffee said the steps to give are simple for anyone interested in the program. Just visit www.redcross.org/gifts and learn more about the three programs you can donate to: Military, Global and Hope for Home.
"You can donate money and it will go to things like disaster supplies for a shelter, and you can provide blankets," McGuffee said about the gifts. "You can also purchase a phone card for a soldier for only $20, or you can provide comfort kits for wounded soldiers.
McGuffee said every dollar counts because the Red Cross is helping more families than ever before in this rough economy.
"I think the need for charitable giving is up so much."
Donna Coleman is a recipient of the Red Cross. She said it helped her son, who is in the military, return home during a time of crisis.
"My husband passed at Halloween and I needed to get my son home, and the Red Cross expedited him coming home."
The organization also helped the Brewer family get back on their feet after losing everything in a house fire.
"Red Cross is there to help you. And it is our obligation, when we are not in need, to help the Red Cross," Bill Brewer said.
They said that help will also provide hope this holiday season. If you are interested in finding out about this holiday giving campaign, visit www.redcross.org/gifts or call (228) 762-2455.