By Doug Bardwell – American Red Cross volunteer
“Hero” is defined as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Ideally, that should describe all of us.
In this age of political and social conflict, one thing remains clear. In times of need, people in this country rally together to help one another; and the American Red Cross has been recognized for years as the organization that maximizes their efforts.
Every 8 minutes, we help someone in need
Last year, thanks to Red Cross training:
- 7 million people received CPR and first aid training nationally.
- 7 million relief items were distributed to victims of countless disasters
- Shelters provided 658,000 overnight stays for victims of hurricanes, floods, fires, and power outages.
- Here in Northeast Ohio, we responded to approximately 1,000 fires and other incidents.
- About $800,000 of financial assistance was provided to those NEO residents.
- Almost 77,000 military families were connected with their service person through Red Cross emergency communication services.
- 7 million people donated blood or platelets that saved lives in 2,600 hospitals.
- More than 15,000 smoke alarms were installed in homes in Northeast Ohio by Red Cross and other area volunteers and partners.
Volunteer Vernita Whittenburg holds a mayoral proclamation, signed by Frank Jackson, Mayor of Cleveland. Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross
Back in 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the impact of our organization and declared March as official American Red Cross Month. That tradition has continued through today and recognizes the efforts of all the volunteers that enable it to complete its mission. Approximately 96-percent of the work the Red Cross accomplishes is done by local volunteers in communities across this nation.
Release your inner hero
If you have time, volunteer. If you already volunteer, suggest a friend join with you. If your time is limited, take a class or donate blood. Cash donations are always welcome as well, and help fund the life-saving activities Red Cross provides.
Get involved – then pat yourself on the back – you’re a hero!