The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

March 5, 2013

WOOD: March is Red Cross Month

CLINTON — During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes the nation’s Everyday Heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their community.

Please remember those who help all of us here in the Gateway area by giving their time to help their neighbor. We want to thank our heroes during Red Cross Month – our volunteers, blood donors, class takers and financial supporters who help us assist those in need.

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

Here in the Gateway area, the Red Cross responded to 27 local emergencies, assisted 46 military families and trained 936 people in lifesaving skills. And, people from this area donated 2,072 units of blood.

Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross and there are many different ways to do it. They can develop a preparedness plan for their household, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or take a Red Cross class, just to name a few.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.

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

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