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.
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 either down the street or across the country by giving their time to help their neighbor," said Steve Hansen, executive of the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter. "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."
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 7 million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.
In just one fiscal year, the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter responded to 171 local emergencies with trained Red Cross responders who are able to respond to disaster not just down the street but across the country.
"We assisted more than a 1,000 military members, their families and veterans with pre- and post-deployment briefings and emergency communications," Hansen said. "We also brighten the holiday season for local veterans and active duty personnel with our Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Through our Preparedness, Health & Safety services we trained thousands of people in both classroom and online courses in life-saving skills to disaster education. Throughout our area, people also rolled-up their sleeves to donate the gift of life. Throughout the state, we provide a safe and reliable blood supply for more than 40 hospitals and clinics."
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. You can develop a preparedness plan for your 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 into humanitarian services.
The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties, including Dickinson and Menominee counties in Michigan. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the chapter at (920) 231-3590 or locally at (906) 774-2494 or visit redcross.org/newisconsin or via social media.
Iron County is part of the Superior Upper Peninsula Chapter. To learn more, call (906) 228-3659 or visit redcross.org/mi/marquette.