March is Red Cross Month. During this time, 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 in Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties by giving their time to help their neighbor,” says Jerry Kindle, CEO of the American Red Cross of Northwest Florida. “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.”
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.
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 seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.
Across all four counties the Northwest Florida chapter responded to 200 local emergencies, assisted 1,874 military families and trained 7,536 people in lifesaving skills.
“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,” says Kindle. “They can develop a preparedness plan for their 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 in helping people in need.
Businesses and individuals can become everyday heroes of the Red Cross with a variety of different activities. For example, Charter Bank will help kick off Red Cross month with a cook out at its 1289 Airport Blvd. branch, March 1. All three Charter Bank branches will raise funds throughout the month. For other activities planned for Red Cross Month, or to get involved, please call (850) 436-7601.
About the American Red Cross: 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.