During March is 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 Southwestern New York by giving their time to help their neighbors," Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York Bill Tucker said. "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 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 ARC 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 Chautauqua 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. It also 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.
During just the past six months, the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York has responded to 66 local emergencies, assisted over 100 military families and trained over 500 people in disaster preparedness. In addition, generous local donors have donated over 8,500 units of blood from July 2012 through January 2013.
"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," Tucker said. "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 $0.91 of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.
The American Red Cross of Southwestern New York has a number of activities planned for Red Cross Month, including Savor the Flavor Events on March 17 from noon to 3 p.m. at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena. The American Red Cross of Southwestern New York is a United Way Agency.