The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 26, 2014

March is Red Cross Month

Amber Wood
The Clinton Herald

---- — It’s Red Cross Month and we would like to recognize our everyday heroes who reach out to help their neighbors when they are in need.

These everyday heroes are our volunteers who help disaster victims get on the road to recovery. They give blood to help someone in the hospital. They brighten the day of an injured service member in a hospital far from home. They take our classes and step forward to help someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child.

March is also a great time to become part of the Red Cross. It’s easy. Household members can work together on a preparedness plan. People can sign up to take a class or volunteer their time. They can give blood or make a financial donation.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

Here in the Gateway Area Chapter, annually on average:

More than 30 families receive assistance after a disaster threatens to destroy their lives;

More than 40 case services are provided to members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The Red Cross is the only organization to facilitate emergency communications between families and their loved ones in the military;

Nearly 3,000 individuals are trained with lifesaving skills such as CPR, First Aid, Automated External Defibrillator (AED), learn-to-swim, lifeguarding, and water safety instruction;

More than 1,600 adults and youths are trained in family disaster preparedness;

n More than 13,000 people receive online preparedness and health and safety information through news articles, videos, mobile apps, emails, social media and readyrating.org;

Nearly 35 youths are trained with vital skills to care responsibly for children, stay safe at home alone and handle basic health emergencies;

Approximately 100 Red Cross volunteers provide these lifesaving programs and services; and

More than 1,500 units of blood are collected.

Red Cross Month is observed in dedication of everyone who supports our mission. We are grateful to people for their generosity which enables us to continue our work, and encourage everyone to become an everyday hero during Red Cross Month by helping their neighbors.

Amber Wood is the executive director of the Gateway Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.