Giving Something That Means Something

By Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO, American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter

Around this time every year, we buy “stuff” for friends, families and special people in our lives. But how many golf shirts does your father need, and do candy and fruit baskets really mean anything to clients? This holiday season, give something that means something by donating to the Red Cross in their name. Help us fulfill our humanitarian mission of saving lives and giving hope to those in need.

Your donation can help provide infant-care kits for babies in emergency shelters, phone cards for deployed military heroes to call home, hot meals and blankets to provide warmth and security for disaster victims in shelters, comfort kits for wounded warriors or lifesaving measles vaccinations for children around the world.

The year 2012 was filled with life-changing disasters – from Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Sandy to Midwest tornadoes, Colorado wildfires and the Aurora, Colo., tragedy, as well as everyday house fires, flooding and other disasters here at home.

Whenever and wherever tragedy strikes, the Red Cross is there. In fact, we respond to a disaster every eight minutes nationwide. In Hawaii, it’s one disaster every four days. We are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, yet we are not a government agency and must rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses to provide critical services to our community, nation and world.

Red Cross volunteers are there to provide comfort and aid when disaster strikes. Photo courtesy American Red Cross

This year also marks the 95th anniversary of our rich history in Hawaii. As far back as the Spanish-American War, Princess Kaiulani and 300 other women cared for sick and injured soldiers en route from the Philippines. Queen Liliuokalani was an avid supporter of the Red Cross and sewed a flag that soared above Iolani Palace during World War I while Red Cross volunteers rolled bandages in the Throne Room.

Help us preserve their legacy of compassion.

Go to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to shop our Holiday Giving Catalog and give something that means something this year for your family, friends and future generations.

For more information about Hawaii Red Cross, go to