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American Red Cross

Jazmond Dixon was the first resident of St. Louis to die from COVID-19. She died only a couple days after the first COVID-19 death in St. Louis County.
Belafae Johnson Jr.

Jazmond Dixon celebrated her 31st birthday Feb. 9. That night, when she learned some family members couldn’t make it to her birthday party, she drove around the St. Louis area, dropping off slices of cake to their homes. It would be her last birthday — one her loved ones will forever remember.

On March 17, Dixon started to feel sick. Five days later, she became the first person in St. Louis to die of COVID-19, spending her final moments isolated from most of her family. Only her mother was allowed by her side.

Paul Granneman donates platelets Nov. 20 in St. Louis. The American Red Cross has said the need for blood donations is 'urgent.'
File Photo | Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have some St. Louisans asking: How can I help those who need support while I am at home? Even many volunteer opportunities have been canceled.

But there’s still a need for help. According to the state Department of Labor, 42,000 people in Missouri filed for unemployment last week.

Paul Granneman donates platelets Nov. 20 in St. Louis. The American Red Cross has said the need for blood donations is 'urgent.'
File Photo | Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

Officials from the American Red Cross are urging St. Louis residents to donate blood over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

There were 21,000 fewer donations nationally during September and October than hospitals needed, according to the organization. Locally, the Red Cross is down to a three-day blood supply and may need to start rationing blood it distributes to the region’s hospitals.

The flu season and severe winter weather forced the cancellation of more than 150 blood drives and resulted in 28,000 fewer donations of life-saving platelets and blood for patients in hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. To meet immediate needs, the American Red Cross must collect 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day.

Five things to know about applying for flood aid from FEMA

Jan 23, 2016
Sandy Evans helps her parents clear out the basement of the house she grew up in on Oak Court in Arnold on Monday afternoon. Floodwater from the Meramec River damaged the basement, which housed a spare bedroom and a bathroom.
file photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 10:45 a.m., Jan. 24 with information from FEMA—Hundreds of thousands of federal dollars are available to Missourians whose homes were damaged in flooding between Dec. 23 and Jan. 9, now that President Barrack Obama has declared 33 counties a major disaster area.

But figuring out whether you qualify for aid can be confusing. So we enlisted the help of Jono Anzalone, who oversees American Red Cross disaster relief for Missouri, to create a FAQ for FEMA applications.

Paul Jackson, 83, says he's been sleeping in his car since the flood swept through his trailer in Arnold, Mo.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

With no money to spare and little idea where to go, Paul Jackson of Arnold has been sleeping in his car since flood waters swept through his home at the end of December.

“My trailer is demolished and my landlady is trying to fix it up,” said Jackson, an 83-year-old veteran of the Vietnam and Korean wars. “I’ve got a 106-year-old mother in a house of 12, and I can’t live with them because they’re all filled up.”

Detail from the cover of Red Cross magazine

The American Red Cross and the World Chess Hall of Fame encourage chess fans to help save lives – and learn more about the impact of chess in World War II -- by donating blood at the Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 4.

A Red Cross volunteer distributes food in Ferguson in August.
Courtesy of the American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis

The American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis says it is ready to provide whatever services are needed in the aftermath of the anticipated grand jury decision of whether or not to charge Darren Wilson with a crime.

The protests that erupted following the August shooting death of Michael Brown left many families in the Ferguson area struggling to meet basic needs, said Red Cross chief executive officer Cindy Erickson.  The Red Cross partnered with other area relief agencies to set up a respite center where people could get supplies and services. 

As Snow Melts, Red Cross Calls for Blood Donations

Jan 12, 2014
(KWMU staff)

The American Red Cross is asking donors to help replenish the St. Louis region’s blood supply after snow and frigid weather prevented blood collection for several days.

Red Cross spokesman Dan Fox says snow and cold across the country have led to a shortfall in donations.

“Here in the Missouri-Illinois region over the past five or six days, we’ve had to cancel more than 30 blood drives because of the weather,” Fox says. “And as a result of that, we’re seeing a shortfall of close to 900 units of blood and platelets.”


Anheuser-Busch is in the process of packaging over one million cans of drinking water for victims of Hurricane Sandy that hit the northeast early this week.

The St. Louis-based company has the ability to easily convert one or more of its beer-production lines to produce drinking water, which is something it has done in the wake of natural disasters since the late 1980s.

Extreme heat impacting blood donations

Jun 27, 2012
(via Flickr/KOMUNews)

The American Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for blood donors.

Donations to the Red Cross are down ten percent across the country in June, and officials with the agency say the current blood supply is half the level it was last year when it issued a similar plea.

Local Red Cross spokesman Dan Fox says the extreme heat keeps potential donors away.  He says people tend to give when natural disasters strike, even though the need is year-round.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 8, 2012 - When we picture ourselves coping with disaster, we often imagine running to the basement where we've ideally stashed our canned food, bottled water and hand-crank radio.

But even if you're prepared at home, there's a good chance you might not be there when disaster strikes. Adding up car time and hours at work, places of worship and in numerous other activities, it's common to be away for half the day or more.

Joseph Leahy

A year after one of the worst winters in decades, emergency officials say St. Louis is prepared for more severe weather. City and county officials were briefed Thursday on the American Red Cross's preparations at its national disaster warehouse in north St. Louis.

Mary Anderson, the Red Cross' regional director of disaster services says since last year's devastating tornados that struck Missouri, the Red Cross is making space in the 100,000 square-foot facility for more supplies.

Red Cross volunteers reflect on work in Joplin

Jun 24, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 24, 2011 - Corie Story returned to work at the Red Cross on Fri., June 3, having decided on a career in community service. She got what she wished for. Just days later, Story was heading off to Joplin where the deadliest tornado in recent decades had just hit and leveled much of the city in its path.

"I came back to the Red Cross, and all of a sudden I was being sent off," Story said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 21, 2010 - When HOK was having trouble attracting potential mid-level employees two years ago, the architecture firm didn't set up booths in job fairs or advertise in the classified section. Instead of using these more traditional recruiting tools, the company connected with job candidates through social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 23, 2009 - If help were available to make preparing for a disaster less overwhelming and time-consuming, 82 percent of Americans would jump at the opportunity, the American Red Cross learned through a survey it conducted recently. Now the Red Cross is providing the help through a program launched in St. Louis last year and officially kicked off Tuesday here and in 16 other cities.

Deploying to Iraq with the Red Cross

Jul 10, 2009

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 10, 2009 - Andrew Chappelle is the kind of guy who goes skydiving on his birthday and does research in the West Bank. The 25-year-old St. Louis University graduate is preparing for his next adventure -– a four-and-a-half-month stint working in Baghdad.

Chappelle, who is leaving today for Iraq, will be helping to deliver emergency messages -– the birth of a child, the death of a family member -– from people in the United States to service members abroad. He’ll be working for the American Red Cross, an organization best known for its disaster services and blood drives, but which also accompanies American military forces around the world.