For 133 years, the American Red Cross has helped individuals and families prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. And each spring since 1942, starting with Franklin Roosevelt, the U.S. President acknowledges the American Red Cross and encourages volunteerism by issuing a proclamation that declares March as Red Cross Month.
‘”We touch lives down the street, across the country and around the world,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the American Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “And it’s your support that allows us to be there every day for the millions of people who depend on us during their time of need.”
In 1881, 60-year-old Clara Barton launched the American Red Cross based on a European movement that provided relief and protection to wounded soldiers. Now, 133 years later, the Red Cross continues to help individuals and families prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Red Cross Month celebrates the services and volunteers in areas like blood donation, disaster relief, health and safety training, and support to military members and their families.
Red Cross officials say it’s easy to get involved in helping to effect change in your community. Volunteers can give blood, donate their time and talents, or make financial contributions. Nationwide, more than 500,000 volunteers make a difference through Red Cross services.
Locally, the Red Cross blood program supports patients at more than 60 hospitals across 52 counties. Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. Donated blood helps accident victims, premature infants, those being treated for cancers or blood disorders, and help make routine surgeries possible.
“Whatever way you give – be it through blood donation, volunteerism or financial contribution – you’ll feel good knowing you’re helping to change lives,” said Whitman. “Without people like you, there would be no American Red Cross.”
Upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in the area:
· Monday, March 3, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Western Southern Insurance, located at 1167 Westwood Drive in Van Wert.
· Friday, March 14, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Trinity Friends Church in the gymnasium, located at 605 N. Franklin St. in Van Wert.
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross. The American Red Cross in Van Wert County is a United Way Member Agency.