An extra day to make a difference

Leap year provides opportunity to help others

By Sue Wilson, American Red Cross volunteer

February 26, 2020- The American Red Cross responds to needs in our community 365 days a year. But this year it’s 366 days. Yes, there’s an extra day to do much-needed work because it’s leap year.

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What is leap year and why is it happening? In a nutshell, the standard calendar year is 365 days, but the Earth takes 365 days 5 hours 48 minutes and 46 seconds to go completely around the sun. This is called a solar year. In order to keep the calendar cycle synchronized with the seasons, one extra day is added every four years. Feb. 29 is one of those days, making 2020 a “leap year.”

So what are you going to do with your extra day?

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How about making it a day to do good for an organization that does so much good every day of the year? The Red Cross may not be top of mind as you go through your day-to-day life. Unless there is a natural disaster that makes the news headlines, it’s hard to remember that the work of the Red Cross and its volunteers goes quietly along 365 day a year, ready and waiting to respond to people who face emergencies.

  • 365 days a year, the Red Cross secures food and lodging for the family struck by a home fire.
  • 365 days a year, the Red Cross is there for a deployed soldier who needs to get home for a family emergency.
  • 365 days a year, the Red Cross is providing life-saving blood to someone who needs it.
  • 365 days a year, everyday people become heroes because they learned skills that helped save a life due to CPR/AED training from their local Red Cross.
  • 365 days a year, the Red Cross is there, ready to help.

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Maybe your life was made better and safer because you learned to swim. Or you became a lifeguard or took a babysitting class through the Red Cross. These things may slip our mind as we go through our daily lives. But on this 366th day, it’s a great time to remember the Red Cross through your donation.

There are so many ways to donate. You can donate online, by mail, phone, text or through your Alexa device. And you can make this leap year last 366 days by setting up monthly donations. For the price of a cup of your daily coffee, you can make a huge difference in the lives of someone who needs the help of the Red Cross every day. You can also specify whether your donation stays local. You can even specify whether you want your money to go where it is “most needed” or perhaps to a specific service or need close to your heart.

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This leap year, make your extra day count. Give to the Red Cross.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

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