The holidays are drawing near and most people are making plans to enjoy the season
with their loved ones. And during this time of year, many people look for ways in which
they can help people in their community.
The American Red Cross has released its annual Holiday Giving Catalog online. Here,
shoppers can “give something that means something” in many different forms. There
will be many people that will receive gifts of blood, infant care kits for baby’s, comfort
kits for wounded warriors or water containers used when natural disasters disrupt a
community’s water supply overseas. The American Red Cross is asking people to
remember those in need this year by giving something meaningful – giving hope to
those in need.
Every 19 hours the Red Cross responds to a disaster in Southern Nevada, and a
financial donation or a meaningful and symbolic gift from the Holiday Catalog at
www.redcross.org/gifts can help the nearly 70,000 people nationwide who turn to the
Red Cross every year for assistance with disasters on every scale.
Catalog purchases come with beautiful greeting cards than can be sent to a friend or
loved one, with donations made in their name. The purchase of each gift item is a tax-
deductible contribution that supports the mission of the Red Cross.
The holidays also mean more activity in our homes, whether it’s parties, or dinners, or
just family and friends dropping by. More people in the house can sometimes create a
little bit of holiday chaos. It’s important to remember to play it safe, and set some ground
rules on where children can play, for example, and ensure that safety around the home
keeps the holidays bright.
More than any other room in the house, the kitchen is the most likely room in the house
to catch fire. Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires in the country, and as the holidays
are upon us, the American Red Cross wants to remind everyone of steps they can take
to avoid a fire hazard while cooking.
Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Never leave cooking food
unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you must leave
the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. Other safety steps include:
• Check your food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking.
Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
• Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make
them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
• Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils,
paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your
stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
• Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
• Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your
local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
• Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure
all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
• Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near
sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed.
Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a
The Red Cross of Southern Nevada responded to home fires affecting nearly 1,200
people during the 2013 fiscal year, delivering relief including shelter, food and
clothing. Of those fires, 55 of them were during last year’s November – December
holiday period. House fires are statistically the worst disaster threat to families in the
Staying vigilant, and taking steps to create a safe and thoughtful atmosphere for
your family and guests will help to make this holiday season one that is marked with
All of us here at the American Red Cross would like to wish you a safe, happy and
peaceful holiday season.