The Northwest Georgia Chapter of the American Red Cross has launched its holiday giving campaign, urging residents to make a gift that could save the day for someone in need.

The Red Cross campaign features a holiday giving catalog, www.redcross.org/gifts.  A Spanish-language version of the catalog is also available, www.cruzrojaamericana.org/catalogo.

The gift catalog has more than 20 gift ideas — such as assisting someone in the military with a phone card or supplies, providing food and shelter to a disaster victim, covering the costs of snacks at a blood drive, or giving basic necessities to a family in another country.

“The holiday season is a time of hope, and a gift to the Red Cross provides hope 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,” said Jac Whatley, chapter director. “A gift to the Red Cross can save the day for people in need, whether they are down the street, across the country, or around the world.”

The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution to the overall mission of the American Red Cross.  On the rare occasion when donations exceed the need in a particular area, your contribution will be used to help others where the need is greatest.

National Survey Shows People Plan to Support Charities This Holiday Season

The Red Cross kicked off its 2010 holiday giving effort as a new national survey shows that despite the economic downturn, people remain committed to digging deep into their pockets to support charitable causes this holiday season even as they cut back more on other holiday activities.

Nearly three in four people (72 percent) expect to give more or about the same to charity as they did last year, according to the national survey for the American Red Cross, which was conducted October 21-24. This commitment to support charities during the holiday season occurs even as 86 percent of Americans reported their personal finances are the same or worse than they were last year.

And nearly six in 10 (58 percent) say that because the economy is in bad shape, it is more important this year to give to charity.

“It’s gratifying to see that while the personal finances of many people are strained, they still feel a strong desire to do what they can to help someone else in need,” Whatley said.