Many will open presents over coming weeks but thanks to you, Red Cross parcels will have a much greater meaning for those in need this Christmas
Parcels have long been part and parcel of Red Cross history. During WWII, the British Red Cross and the Order of St John worked together as the Joint War Organisation to help injured and ailing servicemen. By the end of the war, volunteers had sent over 20 million food parcels to British and Dominion prisoners of war. Every man received one parcel per week. These parcels contained a ¼ lb of tea, a tin of cocoa powder, a tin of meat roll, a tin of processed cheese, a tin of condensed milk, a tin of dried eggs, a tin of biscuits and a bar of soap – amongst other items.
Fast forward seventy years and Red Cross parcels are just as important today as they were in the 1940s.They continue to bring hope and warmth to those who receive them. This year, there are needs to be met in all corners of the globe – in Western Europe, the Middle East, East Africa to name but a few. The Red Cross did significant work in many regions including Mosul in Iraq where between October 2016 and April 2017, 230,000 people received food parcels, each of which met the basic food needs of a family of six for a month. The contents of food parcels vary depending on the typical food consumed in that region and in Mosul they contained lentils, tomato paste, cooking oil, chickpeas, white beans, tea and sugar. Additionally, 135,000 people in Mosul received essential household items including blankets, basic cookware and delph such as a pot, a frying pan, plates, cups and knives for example.
This Christmas Day, you can know you have helped create a new story for people who are trying to survive from day to day as they cope with violence, displacement or disease. Your gift will go towards making emergency aid parcels for those in need and you can take solace from the fact a parcel will be sent to wherever the need is greatest upon receipt of your gift.
To donate to the Irish Red Cross Christmas appeal, click: www.redcross.ie/christmas