By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer
February 28, 2020- You’ve probably seen the American Red Cross blood drive signs across town, and you’ve probably passed a Red Cross vehicle or two recently. But did you know that March is Red Cross Month?
The first nationally proclaimed Red Cross Month was the idea of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943. He said, “I request that during that month (March) our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.” It’s been remembered each year since.
Every day the Red Cross answers the calls from those in need in many ways. Our blood collection unit supplies about 40% of the blood requirements of the United States. Each unit of blood can save as many as three lives.
Our Service to the Armed Forces unit helps military members, veterans and their families in many ways, including making contact military members when there is a family emergency.
Our disaster services team responds to local, national and international emergencies. Regionally, we respond to an average of three home fires every 24 hours.
What most people don’t realize is that the Red Cross is a charitable organization, not a government agency. It depends on volunteers and the generosity of people like you to perform our mission. Another interesting fact is that the Red Cross is part of the world’s largest volunteer network, found in 187 counties.
WWFDRS? (What would FDR say?)
His idea was for everyone to adopt the aim and activities of the Red Cross. For some, that might mean a donation if they don’t have time to serve. You can always make a donation here.
But if you really want to make a difference, consider volunteering. It will make a difference in someone else’s life as well as your own. There’s no better feeling than being able to assist someone when they are at their lowest hour.
Volunteer opportunities exist now for many talents. But we are especially in need of people to:
1) Join the Disaster Action Team, which goes out in pairs after a local fire or flood to provide financial and emotional support.
2) Become a Home Fire Campaign volunteer to spend an afternoon assisting with the installation of free smoke alarms in local neighborhoods.
3) Serve as drivers to Transport Blood products from blood drives to our main office and then to hospitals. Clean driving record needed. Vehicles provided.
There’s no experience needed for any of these positions, and they can be done by the young as well as the young-at-heart. Hours are flexible and all training is provided. Make FDR proud, and consider joining our mission to alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer