News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ Contributes US$7.35 Million to the American Red Cross

Incoming CEO Cliff Holtz accepts the donation and signs a new memorandum of understanding

During a meeting at the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City with incoming American Red Cross CEO Cliff Holtz on Thursday, March 21, 2024, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints presented the organization with a US$7.35 million donation.

The American Red Cross and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also signed a new memorandum of understanding. This memorandum — the fifth since their initial agreement in 2005 — streamlines disaster response efforts by reducing service redundancies, designates Church buildings as potential shelters and enhances coordinated disaster planning through joint training and drills.

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“This is a very, very generous gift. I’m incredibly pleased and touched,” said Holtz, who replaces current CEO Gail McGovern on July 1, 2024. “The reason our [collaboration] has staying power is because we share so many common values — humanitarian spirit, a call to serve, building trust. This is special in so many ways — and it’s not just because of a check. It’s because of the volunteer work that you do.”

The donation will help purchase blood equipment and biomedical emergency vehicles and will assist with blood donor engagement initiatives and support for patients with sickle cell disease.

During his visit to Salt Lake City, Holtz also visited Welfare Square and the Bishops’ Central Storehouse.

“It’s a special day for us to acknowledge the relationship that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has with the American Red Cross,” said Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, First Counselor in the Church’s Presiding Bishopric. He was joined at Thursday’s event by the Relief Society General Presidency. “We know that because of that collaboration and that teamwork, millions of lives have been blessed in some form or another. I’m sure in the future there will be other opportunities to collaborate to serve together to bless millions of lives.”

The Church of Jesus Christ and the American Red Cross have shared a connection since the late 1800s. Back then, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton and Emmeline B. Wells of the Relief Society began corresponding about humanitarian aid during the Spanish-American War. The Church hosted its first blood drive in 1996 and is the largest single contributor to American Red Cross blood drives. Annually, Latter-day Saints donate approximately 97,000 units of blood across thousands of drives. In the past three decades, the American Red Cross has collected more than 1 million units through some 37,000 drives hosted by the Church.

Thursday’s visit came on the same day as the release of the Church’s 2023 caring summary. The summary shows that the Church’s work of welfare, self-reliance, humanitarian aid, and volunteer service added up to more than US$1.3 billion in expenditures (including an $8.7 million donation to the American Red Cross) and 6.2 million hours volunteered. The Church’s 4,119 humanitarian projects blessed people in 191 countries and territories.

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