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Be a hero during Red Cross Month

By Sheila Crunkleton

Special to the Post

It’s Red Cross Month and the Red Cross Southern Piedmont Chapter which serves the counties of Anson, Cabarrus, Montgomery, Rowan, Stanly and Union is asking people across our communities to become heroes by giving blood, becoming a volunteer or making a donation.

March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and all our presidents since that time have designated March as Red Cross month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world.

Home fires are the most common disasters the Red Cross responds to each year. In 2017, the Southern Piedmont Chapter responded to 148 home fires or local disasters and assisted 493 people. We also installed 1,013 free smoke alarms to help make homes safer. We could not have been there for our neighbors in need without the commitment of our partners, and the invaluable Red Cross volunteers and donors.

The Red Cross is powered by our volunteer heroes who give of their time, talents and compassion to fulfill our vital humanitarian mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering, often dropping everything — at any time of the day or night — to help people who have lost everything.

They are people from your neighborhood who donate blood, who teach First Aid and CPR classes, who support those in need at what may be the worst time in their lives. We honor them during Red Cross Month and ask you to consider joining us and making a difference.

This year the Red Cross salutes all the heroes who make a difference in their communities by:

• Donating blood or platelets

• Volunteering to help people impacted by a disaster

• Taking a first aid or CPR class to help in an emergency

• Providing comfort to a member of the military, a veteran or their family

The Red Cross has been helping people in need for more than 130 years, and much of our work is accomplished through the work of our volunteers. The Red Cross:

• Responds to nearly 64,000 disasters across the country providing hope and comfort to people in need.

• Trains and provides information to nearly 5.9 million people in first aid, water safety and other skills that help save lives.

• Collects nearly 4.9 million units of blood from more than 2.8 million volunteer donors to meet the needs of patients at hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

• Provides nearly 391,000 support services to military members, veterans and their families.

• Helps more than 181 million people outside the U.S. through disaster management and disease prevention efforts.

The Red Cross is asking everyone to support people impacted by disasters and #help1family on Giving Day — Wednesday, March 28. Your donation can help provide hope and urgent relief such as food, blankets and other essentials to people who need it most. Giving Day is a 24-hour fundraising campaign supporting the work of the Red Cross, helping people across the country in need of emergency assistance. Donate now by visiting redcross.org/givingday, or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.

During March, be a hero and join the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross. More information is available on how you can help at redcross.org/wnc.

Sheila Crunkleton is executive director of the American Red Cross Southern Piedmont Chapter.

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