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Nationwide Foundation Donates $1.7 Million to American Red Cross for Disaster Preparedness and Response and Increased Blood Collections
Date:4/16/2009

WASHINGTON, April 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Nationwide Foundation is making a $1.7 million grant to the American Red Cross to help people affected by disasters and other life-threatening emergencies. This is the third consecutive year the Foundation has contributed this unique grant to the Red Cross.

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

The $1.7 million grant from the Nationwide Foundation, an independent corporation funded by Nationwide companies, will be distributed among national Red Cross headquarters and 15 chapters. Some of the funds will be used to purchase blood mobiles for Red Cross blood services regions located in Raleigh, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; and Columbus, Ohio. The three new blood mobiles will help the Red Cross collect approximately 4,000 to 6,000 units of blood per year.

"The Nationwide Foundation's generous investment in disaster preparedness and response enables the Red Cross to mobilize materials and human resources before disaster strikes, like our recent flood response in Fargo, N.D.," said Gail McGovern, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. "Nationwide has also supported the Red Cross blood program for more than 60 years, and the three new blood mobiles purchased with this grant will be on the road each and every day helping us collect blood for hospital patients who desperately need it."

"Nationwide is proud of its long partnership with the American Red Cross," said Chad Jester, President of the Nationwide Foundation. "Nationwide is in the business of helping people rebuild their lives when tragedy strikes. The Red Cross does the same thing. When we're helping customers with claims after a hurricane, the Red Cross is right there in the same community providing humanitarian support. The partnership is a perfect fit."

Nationwide has been a Red Cross disaster services supporter for over 25 years and its leadership serves on several Red Cross chapter boards. As recently as last week, the Nationwide Foundation partnered with the Red Cross to provide relief for victims of tornadoes in Tennessee.

The distribution of the $1.7 million Nationwide Foundation grant includes support for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund, blood mobiles and funding for local Red Cross chapters.(i) This is the Nationwide Foundation's largest annual commitment to the Red Cross. In 2008, the Foundation donated $1 million and in 2007, it donated $775,000.

Nationwide has been a strong supporter of the Red Cross blood program since the Central Ohio Region began collecting blood in 1948. At that time, the organization was known as Farm-Bureau Insurance and its employees gave blood at the region's inaugural blood drive. In 1995, Nationwide opened the first Red Cross corporate donor center for the region. The Foundation has supported the Central Ohio Blood Region for many years.

The Nationwide Foundation is expanding its support of the Red Cross blood program into additional markets by purchasing three new blood mobiles. Eighty percent of the nation's blood supply comes from blood donations made at mobile units and organization-sponsored blood drives, such as those sponsored by Nationwide. Nationwide employees in 23 cities donate approximately 13,000 whole blood units per year and over 500 apheresis units per year.

About the Nationwide Foundation:

The Nationwide Foundation is an independent corporation funded by contributions from Nationwide companies. Founded in 1959, the Nationwide Foundation has committed more than $190 million since 2000 to help nonprofit organizations in communities where Nationwide associates and their families live and work. Just as Nationwide supports its customers in their moment of need, the company's involvement in its home communities is focused on supporting organizations that help people facing critical or immediate need.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world. Nationwide ranks #108 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; 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 humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.

(i) Greater Richmond Chapter; Oregon Trail Chapter; Sacramento Sierra Chapter; Mile High Chapter (Denver, Colo.); North Central Florida Chapter; Cornhusker Chapter (Lincoln, Neb.); American Red Cross of Susquehanna Valley (Lancaster, Pa.); Stark County Chapter (Canton, Ohio); Triangle Area Chapter (Raleigh, N.C.); San Antonio Area Chapter; Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter; Nashville Area Chapter; American Red Cross of Greater Columbus; Central Iowa Chapter; The Grand Canyon Chapter.


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SOURCE American Red Cross
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