March is Red Cross Month: Be a Hero in Your Community
We’ve all heard of the American Red Cross. It’s been around longer than any of us.
Clara Barton established it in 1881. She was a hospital nurse during the Civil War. As well as a teacher and a patent clerk.
Barton got the idea for an American version of the Red Cross from the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland.
The American Red Cross is a humanitarian group. It gives emergency assistance disaster relief in America. As well as disaster preparedness education.
March has been designated as Red Cross Month since 1943. That’s when President Franklin D. Roosevelt first declared it as such.
The goal of the designation is to bring awareness to the group. And to its humanitarian mission.
Here’s Donald Trump’s presidential proclamation about it. “During American Red Cross Month, we recognize and honor the lifesaving work of the dedicated employees and volunteers of the American Red Cross.
“As well as the remarkable kindness of the American people who give so generously to this organization.
“Each year, the American Red Cross provides care, relief and comfort to Americans who are suffering from natural disasters.”
Clara Barton’s Vision
Barton was the group’s first president. Representative William Lawrence, a Republican from Ohio, was the first vice president.
The first local chapter was established at the English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dansville, New York.
The American Red Cross got its first congressional charter in 1900. The group was first tasked with providing services to American armed forces members and their families.
As well as providing disaster relief in the United States and around the world. Today, the American Red Cross brings help to people in need every eight minutes, on average.
Serving Millions Every Year
The Red Cross responds to an average of 62,000 disasters per year. Most of these are home fires.
Volunteers helped approximately 24,000 people affected by more than 5,700 fires across every state. And that was just in one month last year.
In 2019, the Red Cross helped serve more than 8.4 million meals and snacks with its partners.
The organization also helped provide more than 284,200 overnight stays in shelters.
Turning Compassion Into Action
The Red Cross turns compassion into action. They do that so all people affected by disaster can receive care, shelter and hope.
They work so that every community will prepare for disasters. And so everyone has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products.
The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign launched in 2014. Since then it has saved more than 715 lives. And helped install more than 2 million smoke alarms.
Approximately 864,000 households have been made safer. And more than 1.5 million youth have been reached through the campaign.
Ordinary Folks Make an Extraordinary Difference
Gail McGovern is president and CEO of the American Red Cross. She has plenty to say about the organization’s volunteers.
“During Red Cross Month, we honor the volunteer heroes who help families overcome life’s emergencies every day.
“These champions are our neighbors. Ordinary people who make an extraordinary difference to ease the suffering of others.
“Whether it’s saving a person’s life with CPR (or) donating blood for a hospital patient with life-threatening conditions. Or comforting a family overwhelmed by a home fire or other crisis.”
Eyeing the Coronavirus Outbreak
The American Red Cross is keeping a close eye on the potential outbreak in America. Here’s part of their official statement.
“The American Red Cross is closely monitoring the evolving situation… We are currently working with government agencies and state officials to determine what Red Cross support may be needed.
“The Red Cross continues to use safety measures to protect the blood supply from all respiratory viruses including this coronavirus strain.
“The Red Cross of China is supporting its government. To help meet the… demand for medical items including masks and gowns.”
4 Ways to Contribute
How can we contribute to the efforts of the American Red Cross? There are several ways.
One is by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. You’d help families affected by disasters. And possibly provide emergency assistance to military members and veterans.
A second way is by giving blood. There is always a need for every type of lifesaving blood or platelets. The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood.
Third, you can learn lifesaving skills. The best way to do that is by registering for a class in first-aid, CPR or other skills.
Finally, you can make a financial donation. This will be used for food, shelter and other essentials for families who need it most.
Your first step for any of these activities is contacting your local Red Cross chapter.
Red Cross, FEMA Agree
The Red Cross recommends stockpiling non-perishable food. So does the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
They suggest storing at least a 72-hour supply of non-perishable food on hand for emergencies. And that's exactly what you get with the 4Patriots 72-Hour Survival Food Kit.
However, demand for survival food is surging due to the global Coronavirus emergency.
But as of today, 4Patriots 72-Hour Survival Food Kits ARE available & sending out within 3-5 days (unlike our larger-sized food kits which may be significantly delayed). New orders ship on 1st come, 1st served basis.
Every kit set aside has 16 servings of delicious, real good for up-to-25 years food. You’ll get Grammy’s Favorite Oatmeal, America’s Finest Mac & Cheese, and Creamy Rice & Vegetable Dinner.
We want to help give as many people as possible the peace of mind that comes from being prepared. Especially in times like this…