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Entertainment Celebrities Support Red Cross Holiday Giving Campaign
Date:12/10/2009

Television, movie and music personalities urge people to give the gift that saves the day

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of celebrities are urging their fans and the public to support the new American Red Cross holiday giving campaign and give a gift that could save the day for someone in need.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090108/RedCrossLOGO)

Celebrity supporters of the Red Cross campaign include actors Jimmy Smits, Amanda Peet, Masi Oka, Jane Seymour and Marlee Matlin, television personality Dr. Phil McGraw and artists Amy Grant, Sara Evans, Pat Green and Rascal Flatts. All are members of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet.

Smits narrates the new Red Cross holiday television ad which captures the Red Cross moment when people go from despair to hope during an emergency or disaster.

The advertising campaign promotes an online "Gifts that Save the Day" catalog that enables people to make a tax-deductible charitable gift this holiday season that could provide food and shelter for a disaster victim for a day; a military comfort kit with a robe, phone card and other supplies for a wounded warrior; or a month of basic necessities for a family in another country who lost everything in a disaster. Evans is featured in the catalog, and has also recorded a radio public service announcement.

Catalog gifts are contributions toward a Red Cross program area, not a donation to a specific project or item. The donations will be used to provide assistance where it is needed most within the program area; the remaining money is put to use where it is needed most.

Actress Amanda Peet purchased vaccinations against measles, providing a lifetime of protection against this deadly disease for 500 children overseas.

Seymour has promoted the catalog, and has also drawn special attention to donations that support measles vaccinations internationally. "Perhaps it's because my father was a doctor, or because I played one on television, but I think my favorite gift in the catalog is the gift of vaccination against measles," Seymour said.

"It's a great honor to be asked to take part in this worthwhile endeavor for the American Red Cross," Seymour added. "I can tell you from personal experience that the time I spend volunteering has enriched my life."

Oka, who stars on the NBC "Heroes" television program, is the primary celebrity spokesperson for the campaign. "In this season of hope, I'm proud to join the American Red Cross in asking the public to give a gift that can really save the day when the next disaster strikes, when a neighbor's house burns down, when someone needs life-saving blood or when a child needs a hug and a blanket," Oka said. "We can all be heroes this holiday season by supporting the Red Cross."

Grant taped a public service announcement for the campaign. She has also been very active in the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program which sends holiday cards to members of the military.

Other celebrity supporters urged donations to the Red Cross because of the organization's work in helping others.

"It gives us great pleasure to be able to work with such a caring, wonderful organization like the American Red Cross because of what it provides to this country - and around the world," Rascal Flatts said in a statement. Celebrities are also using their social media platforms to promote the campaign. Pat Green urged his Facebook followers to "give the gift that saves the day." In addition, Matlin and Dr. Phil have "tweeted" in support of the campaign, urging their followers to support the Red Cross holiday campaign.

"I am proud to be associated with such a caring organization. 'No' is not in their vocabulary," McGraw said. "Instead, their first response is always 'Where do you need me?'"

Each celebrity's work on the holiday campaign is just the latest example of their support of the Red Cross.

A recent Red Cross survey showed that nearly 90 percent of Americans planned to donate to charity this holiday season. Half of those making donations plan to donate at least $50 to charity this holiday season, with 25 percent intending to give more than $100.

The telephone survey of 1,001 U.S. adults 18 years and older was conducted November 5-8, 2009 by CARAVAN(R) Opinion Research Corporation. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization -- not a government agency -- and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

SOURCE American Red Cross


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SOURCE American Red Cross
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