Red Cross Appeal Week is upon us once again and it’s big news for us staff and volunteers.
However, there are lots of other people – perhaps you included – who don’t have a clue what it’s all about. So as someone who looked blank when I first heard Red Cross Appeal Week mentioned, soon after I joined the Red Cross, I’m here to enlighten you.
Think of it as a whopper of a fundraising push, where Red Cross staff, volunteers and members of the public pull out all the stops to generate as much cash as possible over one week for the organisation.
They do this each and every year with great enthusiasm, energy and imagination. I’m doing my bit this time round by doing some street collecting and taking on a challenge my colleague Mark and I have devised – the Big Red Climb. Read all about it, and if you’re feeling generous, please donate on our Justgiving page; we are hoping to raise £500.
What is now known as Red Cross Appeal Week began during the Second World War , when the Red Cross raised massive sums of money through flag days. One of these, in December 1942 for prisoners of war, prompted the most flag sellers ever, with many relatives of prisoners of war fundraising. It was the most successful flag day of the Second World War raising nearly £400,000.
Despite the need to improvise when some flags and collecting tins were destroyed by enemy action, the twelve flag days held during the Second World War raised more than £2.6 million of vital funds. Red Cross Appeal Week, the modern day equivalent of flag days, started in 1971, and has continued to raise millions of pounds.
A lot has changed since then and today Appeal Week takes place as much online as it does outdoors. You can join the Facebook Appeal Week group, share your photos on Flickr, watch our music video on YouTube and tweet away to your heart’s content using #RCAW. There’s also a special sticker you can add to your Twitter or Facebook profile picture to show the world that you’re supporting the Red Cross this week.
So, now you know what it’s all about, you’ll want to get involved. There are all sorts of ways you can help – big and small, conventional and more wacky. Sign up now and help us make this the best Red Cross Appeal Week ever.