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Look for the helpers: Stepping up to stomp out COVID-19

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Fighting the coronavirus requires people to socially distance themselves, but it also calls on community members to help one another—and that’s exactly what’s taking place all around the globe.

To answer the call for help, a network of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers have stepped up to support and shield people in need. Teams are doing everything they can to aid their communities. Here is a glimpse into the help they’re providing all around the world.

Different Countries, One Mission

Italy is currently the most affected country and as a result, Italian Red Cross volunteers are delivering assistance 24/7. They are responding to calls, delivering medicine to the homes of vulnerable people in self-isolation, taking temperatures at airports and transporting patients to hospitals. They continue to share information on how to stay safe during this uncertain time and operate under the slogan, “Be smart. Be safe. Be kind.”

As the coronavirus continues to surge through Korea, the Korean Red Cross is distributing emergency relief items like masks, hand sanitizers, meal kits and prevention kits to at-risk individuals. They are also providing emotional support and sharing lifesaving information on how to protect oneself from the virus.

At the height of the crisis in China, the Chinese Red Cross mobilized more than 50,000 volunteers, who put their lives on the line to assist in the control of this pandemic.

In Japan, as the need for medical professionals grows, the Red Cross is transferring doctors, nurses and pharmacists to support all government quarantine facilities.

As the coronavirus makes its way to Africa, workers from the Kenyan Red Cross are actively engaging and sharing information about the virus with the community, particularly older adults.

In Israel, Magen David Adom teams are working around the clock responding to over 20,000 calls a day, transporting quarantined people to and from the hospital, and taking lab tests from families’ homes.

In the Netherlands, the Red Cross is supporting people in isolation through a coronavirus hotline so people can call in for emotional support, advice and to ask for practical help—such as grocery requests or childcare needs.

Recently, the Hellenic Red Cross in Greece deployed their unit of nurses and volunteers by helicopter to the island of Kea to assist with temperature checks and health care for migrants.

The Ukrainian Red Cross is educating people about how to stay safe across the country in creative ways. They’re using billboards, calendars and posters to get people’s attention and promote safety.

Across Latin America, local Red Cross teams are providing care to their vulnerable populations by supplying fresh food and advising on preventative measures.

American Red Cross Contributes $720,000 to Global Coronavirus Response

Here in the U.S., the American Red Cross is focused on continuing to deliver our lifesaving mission, including critical blood collection efforts, while also supporting the global response. A $720,000 contribution from the American Red Cross is helping international Red Cross and Red Crescent teams to mitigate the spread of this virus through community-based health and hygiene promotion, access to basic services and fighting stigma. The funds can also expand case detection, surveillance and contact tracing, among other activities.

The American Red Cross is also providing data expertise to the global Red Cross Red Crescent network and has deployed a communications expert to bring attention to humanitarian needs and combat rumors about the virus.

We’re in This Together

As we continue to isolate, it’s important to remember that this is not an isolated problem. Right now, helpers all around the world are stepping up to promote safety, help the helpless and shield the sick. In uncertain moments like these, just remember, look for the helpers.

Donate Blood or Become a Volunteer

In the face of emergencies like COVID-19, the American Red Cross and the entire global Red Cross Red Crescent network join together to ease people’s suffering. Find out how you can donate much-needed blood in the U.S. or volunteer at redcross.org.

For more information about the work of the American Red Cross around the world, visit redcross.org/international.

You can find more information on COVID-19 safety here. For the latest information, please visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/covid19.

If you live outside the United States, health and safety tips can be found through the World Health Organization and by following your local Red Cross or Red Crescent society’s social media channels.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

American Red Cross: All American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided at no cost, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. The Red Cross also supplies nearly half of the nation's lifesaving blood. This, too, is made possible by generous voluntary donations. To help the victims of disaster, you may make a secure online credit card donation or call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish). Or you may send your donation to your local Red Cross or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. To donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543), or contact your local Red Cross to find out about upcoming blood drives. © Copyright, The American National Red Cross. All Rights Reserved.