As a national leader in industrial real estate, we are part of communities across the country—from the shores of southern California to the ports of Newark and many important hubs of commerce between. Because we count so many Americans as our neighbors, Duke Realty’s partnership as an American Red Cross Disaster Responder member has become increasingly meaningful to us.
The American Red Cross is always among the first to provide relief no matter where disaster may strike. Whether need impacts those in many states or a single family, the American Red Cross responds to an emergency every eight minutes. This mission demands many volunteers and an abundance of resources. Duke Realty associates are proud to help out on both counts.
“The Red Cross partnership is important to Duke Realty because the Red Cross helps so many people in our markets across the country,” said Senior HR Generalist Eva Spurgin. “From wildfires in California to hurricanes in the Gulf, having so many parts involved in the partnership helps to keep the Red Cross top-of-mind.”
Duke Realty’s partnership with the American Red Cross goes back to May 2018, when more than 300 associates from 16 offices around the country worked with the Red Cross on their “Sound the Alarm, Save a Life” campaign, canvasing neighborhoods to help install free smoke alarms.
Since then, our associates have helped the Red Cross by assembling kits to be sent to U.S. troops overseas, by making masks that Red Cross responders can distribute at disaster sites or emergency shelters, and by helping to shore up the nonprofit’s digital preparedness by participating in their Missing Maps project.
“Missing Maps has been a great project for us this year, with COVID-19 keeping many of us working remotely,” Spurgin said. “Extra time is something you don’t have when responding to a disaster, and accurate maps are a big help. But in many parts of the world, digital mapping hasn’t yet been a priority. With Missing Maps, our associates can log on from wherever they’re working and receive an assignment to complete.”
For Missing Maps, Duke Realty volunteers were provided with satellite images of unmapped areas. Using OpenStreetMap, an editable online world map, they draw lines around anything that looks like a building. Other volunteers working in those unmapped communities add the details. So if disaster strikes, Red Cross responders know better where and how to help.
COVID-19 hasn’t just kept employees from their workplaces. It’s also derailed many Red Cross blood drives that, in a typical year take place at offices, schools and parks, have been canceled due to concern over the pandemic.
That’s why Duke Realty is proud that its been able to safely keep the pace this year with regularly scheduled Red Cross blood drives. Our seventh blood drive of 2020 took place in our Indianapolis offices on October 8.
“In 2020, so far, we’ve collected 266 units of blood. Each unit can save up to three lives, so that’s 798 people we’ve helped this year,” said Spurgin.
Blood donors are advised to wait eight weeks between donations, but after that, they are welcome to donate again. “We have several people who donate every time they’re eligible to do so,” Spurgin said.
In addition to our associates’ hands-on efforts and generous donations of blood, we regularly collect financial contributions as well. This year’s fund drive, “Be a Lifesaver,” garnered $167,000 to support the Red Cross mission.
“The Red Cross has been a great partner,” said Spurgin. “Our associates have really been engaged and are happy to be able to give back and help people in need—whether in communities close to home or around the world. We look forward to seeing how the partnership grows.”