Red Cross Assisted 3,255 community members in Northern Ohio between July and February
By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer
I first visited the American Red Cross’s Cleveland office on a bitterly cold day in February 2018 and began training as a new Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteer. A few days later I was in a Red Cross vehicle with one of the most astonishing, kindest people I have met, heading to assist a family following a home fire. As we were providing the family with supplies, financial assistance, and information needed to begin recovering, the Cleveland Fire Department was extinguishing a large fire on the other side of town. We arrived shortly after, meeting a large family as water from fire hoses streamed from the home, the smell of smoke still heavy within. As before, we provided comfort, information, and the support this devastated family would need to recover.
I soon learned such a day is typical for Northern Ohio Red Cross disaster responders. I saw firsthand, how needed and effective the assistance is, and, how it helps families begin recovering from one of their life’s most difficult events. I also discovered that when people care enough to give–whether financial support or time–how much it helps those impacted.
I have also seen how vital Blood Services, Services to the Armed Forces, smoke alarm installations, and lifesaving training are.
March 22nd is American Red Cross Giving Day, part of Red Cross month, and we ask you to consider joining with others in the community to help continue the Red Cross mission.
And as disasters increase, your help is greatly needed.
To see how busy our region’s Disaster Action Team has been, I reached out to Emily Probst, Senior Disaster Program Manager, and Barb Thomas, Regional Recovery Manager, for the Red Cross’s Northern Ohio Region.
Between July 1, 2022 and February 28, 2023, Northern Ohio DAT members responded to 769 events, opened 1,214 cases, and assisted 3,255 people. Emily added that the team has responded to three apartment fires just in the last few weeks and praised their dedication, saying, “We could not do what we do without the DAT volunteers and their commitment to delivering mission at all hours of the day.”
While most disasters in our region are home fires–736 of the 769 events–the team also assisted following other disasters, including the train derailment and chemical spill in East Palestine.
In addition to financial support, you can help by:
– Donating blood. You will also receive a $10 Visa prepaid card throughout March and be automatically entered for a chance to win a $3,000 Visa prepaid card. Please visit
redcrossblood.org for details and to schedule a donation.
– Learning lifesaving skills by taking a class.
– And volunteering, which I have found to be an exceptionally rewarding experience.
However you wish to contribute, please consider taking part in Giving Day, as donor and volunteer support is vital. Please visit redcross.org/GivingDay or the links above, because #HelpCantWait.
Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer
Posted by Ryan Lang, Red Cross Board Member and volunteer