"I request that during that month (March) our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross."
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in first Presidential Proclamation of March as Red Cross Month, 1943
Every year, during the month of March, the president of the United States signs an official proclamation declaring March Red Cross Month.
This annual celebration gives the entire country the opportunity to reflect on the incredible work of this great humanitarian organization.
Since Clara Barton established the Red Cross in America, the Red Cross has led the effort to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters and other emergencies.
This year, the Red Cross is asking for our help.
The American Red Cross is asking everyone to help people in need by supporting the lifesaving services it provides.
"Please remember those who need our help and support the Red Cross by making a donation, becoming a volunteer, taking a class, or giving blood," said Steve Hansen, the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter Executive. "We want to thank everyone for their generosity, which has enabled us help people here at home, across the United States and around the world."
The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.
The Red Cross collects and distributes more than 40 percent of the nation's blood supply and trains more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills every year.
It responds to nearly 70,000 disasters in the U.S. annually, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. The Red Cross 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.
Here throughout Northeast Wisconsin and the Michigan border communities, we average a residential fire every other day, Hansen said.
Trained Red Cross disaster teams are there to meet with the individuals and families affected around the clock.
Through additional fire prevention projects and increased awareness, one goal this year is to reduce the number of fires and lost lives.
Simple steps can have a profound and life-saving affect. They are: 1. Get informed about potential emergencies 2. Make a plan for if (when) an emergency hits your home and/or community. 3. Assemble an emergency kit.
"Red Cross Month is a great time for people to support our mission through family planning and giving of time, talent or treasures." Hansen said. "Their kindness will enable us to continue our work, both here at home and across the globe."
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 the people the Red Cross services.
- To volunteer contact: Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director at 1-920-227-4287.
- To find/register for life-saving training (First Aid, CPR, babysitting, etc)go to: redcross.org/training.
- To donate blood: Call 800-RED-CROSS or go online at redcrossblood.org to find the nearest blood drive near you.
The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties, including Florence and Marinette counties in Wisconsin, and Dickinson and Menominee counties in Michigan, with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters.
To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how to help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 1-920-231-3590 or visit www.NEWRedCross.org.