SIDNEY — In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt first proclaimed that March was officially Red Cross Month. Since then, every president has made the same declaration, including President Donald J. Trump. The proclamation offers the nation the chance to increase its awareness of all of the duties that the Red Cross performs, as well as recognizing and celebrating all of the volunteers and donors who live the Red Cross mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies.
In the Northern Miami Valley, the Red Cross is using the month to recognize the everyday heroes who make its mission possible.
“Our community is full of everyday heroes who help others in need,” said Lynne Gump, executive director of the Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross. “They are our selfless Red Cross volunteers, blood donors and financial contributors who bring relief to people facing life’s emergencies. During Red Cross Month, we thank them for their tremendous support.”
The Red Cross depends on local heroes to fulfill its mission. The Red Cross responds to a community disaster every eight minutes, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected by disasters. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world. It must collect 14,000 units of blood every day in order to fulfill the country’s needs. It trains millions of people in first aid, water safety, and other lifesaving skills.
In 2016, the Northern Miami Valley Red Cross responded to local emergencies, in fact, it helped 165 families with emergency food, shelter and supplies. Locally installed over 1,300 smoke detectors, assisted 270 military families, visited over 160 veterans monthly, trained almost 7000 people in lifesaving skills, and collected over 3000 units of blood.
“It’s easy to become a Red Cross community hero,” said Gump. “Be ready for an emergency by creating a preparedness plan for your home. Test your smoke alarms and tell your neighbors to do the same. If you don’t have smoke alarms, contact our office for free assistance. Or sign up to be a Red Cross volunteer or make a financial donation.”
The smoke alarms — as well as all disaster-related services provided by the Red Cross — are free. The Red Cross is not a governmental agency, though, so the costs to provide these services comes from donations provided by the generosity of the American public. Anyone wishing to make a donation to support families suffering as a result of disasters such as home fires or purchase life-saving items such as smoke alarms are encouraged to do so. To make a gift, go to RedCross.org, call 800-REDCROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999