Red Cross clarifies the logistics of meeting emergency needs, near and far

Please understand that while we are extremely grateful for the support of our community, unsolicited and/or spontaneous donations of goods and services, though well-intentioned, have hidden costs and pose a number of complications for relief efforts due to factors such as storage, transportation, sorting and other processing necessary.

For these reasons, the Red Cross is unable to accept any large collections of items, such as used clothing, hygiene items, furniture, toys, and canned goods.  We are also unable to accept small, individual donations of these items.

The Red Cross will sometimes accept bulk donations of products that are immediately needed on an ongoing disaster relief operation. “Bulk donations” refer to large donations of a single product. Because the quantities required for relief operations are significant, these donations are typically provided by companies that manufacture or distribute the product needed and have the resources to ship it directly to the disaster site.

We depend on and are always grateful to receive monetary donations to help us fulfill our mission and provide our services. You can make a financial donation by calling 1-800-RedCross or visit

Volunteering: The American Red Cross is able to carry out its mission only through the generous efforts of our volunteers who make up more than 95 percent of the Red Cross workforce and lead the way to helping communities prevent, prepare for and respond to emergency situations.

Red Cross volunteers make a special commitment to their community as they spend many hours in training to assure they have the knowledge and skills needed to provide assistance to those in need …when they need it most, in a wide range of situations, depending upon the emergency.

There are many ways that you can get involved with your local Red Cross as a volunteer.

Please visit and learn about our many volunteer opportunities.

Rob Shapiro, Communications Director

American Red Cross Coastal Virginia Region




Cultural reference unintended on area signs that attempt to decry federal financial ruin

The use of the phrase “Kool-Aid drinkers” on our Tea Party sign has brought forth charges of racism.  This is based on a complete misunderstanding because we never intended a racial connection.  We have no reason to inflame race relations; we have made efforts to attract everyone in the Northern Neck.  Let me explain.

First off, I like Kool-Aid.  At 5 cents a pack, this was the only drink my mother served our family in the summers sixty years ago. Frozen Kool-Aid on a stick was our version of a Popsicle.  Every person I ever knew had Kool-Aid in their home.

However, Kool-Aid is sweet and seductive, just like the immediate delivery of things received under socialism and the big government that goes along with it.  History shows that any nation that pursues redistribution of wealth stagnates, and then declines.  Check it out.

The Kool-Aid is being served by Pelosi, Reid, Barney Frank, etc.  The financial ruin of this country can be traced directly to Congress which continues to spend far more than we can ever generate in taxes.

The phrase “don’t drink the Kool Aid” is now accepted to mean those who endorse an action without realizing its real impact.  We hear it frequently on TV; it’s gone mainstream.  Its universal meaning can be googled online for a clear derivation of “the phrase.”

Last month a letter was sent to the black churches in Westmoreland County inviting their congregations to attend our Tea Party meeting and hear the dynamic message of Bishop E. W. Jackson and also to find out what we’re all about. Not one of those invited attended.  We tried and will continue to try.

We have received a number of phone calls about this….some informative, some not so.  Several Facebook postings had to be removed because of the vulgarity.  The charge of racism now is often used to silence an opponent.  The tea party has been demonized since its inception; it is an easy target.

Again, we were totally unaware of the cultural reference.  Please recognize that there can be more than one way to interpret the meaning of words and ours is just as valid.   In no way was this meant as a racial slur; and let us also remember that civility is a two-way street.

Rodger Meredith


Recommended for you