SUMMIT, N.J., Jan. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- March is Red Cross Month, and the American Red Cross is asking people to join them in helping those in need by volunteering their time, making a donation, taking a class, or giving blood.
"When someone provides a hot meal to a disaster victim, gives blood, takes a first aid class, or helps someone in the military, they join the Red Cross," said Christy Hodde, executive director of the Colonial Crossroads Chapter in Summit, NJ. "We want to say 'thank you' to all who support us. That support enables us to provide help and hope to those who need our assistance."
For nearly 100 years, U.S. Presidents have called on people to support the American Red Cross and its humanitarian mission. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to proclaim March as Red Cross Month in 1943. Since that time, President Obama and every president since have issued proclamations designating March as Red Cross Month.
The Red Cross has been helping people for 130 years, responding to disasters, assisting members of the military, teaching lifesaving skills, and serving as one of the largest blood suppliers in the United States.
Nationally, the Red Cross responds to an average of nearly 200 disasters every day. The organization provides a round-the-clock link between those in the military and their families, and supplies blood and blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
The Colonial Crossroads Chapter, which covers 10 NJ towns in Morris and Union counties, was called to 21 emergencies affecting more than 3,000 individuals last year. The chapter assisted 42 local military families with emergency communications related to birth, medical and death announcements as well as provided 3 international tracings. We gave nearly 4,000 free rides to ambulatory seniors to doctor, hospital or rehabilitation appointments and through a partnership with SAGE Eldercare 4,100 meals were delivered through the Meals-on-Wheels program.
"Although our work in disaster response is critical in the communities we serve, our work in the area of prevention and preparedness is just as key," says Hodde. "Last year our health and safety instructors trained 18,857 enrollees in critical lifesaving skills such as First Aid, CPR and Lifeguard Training. "Just last week we held a class for a local Girl Scout Troop in Citizen CPR which involves no mouth-to-mouth contact only chest compressions."
The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.
"When people join the Red Cross by volunteering, donating blood, taking a course or making a contribution, they enable us to continue our work, both here at home, and around the world," adds Hodde.
The Colonial Crossroads Chapter has a number of activities planned for Red Cross Month in March. Proclamations will be read by the mayors in all of the 10 towns served by the chapter. Health and safety classes in First Aid, CPR, Automated External Defibrillator use, Babysitter's Training, Lifeguard Training, Dog and Cat First Aid and much more are also scheduled. The chapter will hold blood drives throughout the month to support a nationwide blood shortage caused by the cancellation of more than 14,000 blood and platelet donations since January 1 due to severe winter weather.
You can find your local Red Cross chapter by visiting www.redcross.org and typing in your zip code. Speak with your local chapter to learn how you can be a part of Red Cross Month.
About the American Red Cross in your area:
Local Red Cross programs and services include disaster preparedness education and response services; life-saving skills training such as CPR, AED, First Aid, and water safety; armed forces emergency services, transportation and blood services.
The Colonial Crossroads Chapter has served the residents of Berkeley Heights, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, East Hanover, Florham Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, New Providence, Springfield and Summit since 1917. To find out more about the local Red Cross, how you can donate your expertise, time, money or blood; or to help your family, business, or community prepare for emergencies, please visit www.ccnjredcross.org.
Media Contact: Mary Schaenen Colonial Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross, 908-273-2076, [email protected]
SOURCE American Red Cross