March is Red Cross Month

• Rock River Chapter hosts open house from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 15

From press release

March is Red Cross Month, and the American Red Cross is asking people to join them in helping those in need by volunteering their time, making a donation, taking a class, or giving blood.

Rock River Chapter of the Red Cross Executive Director Jeff Reinke said: “When someone provides a hot meal to a disaster victim, gives blood, takes a first aid class, or helps someone in the military, they join the Red Cross. We want to say ‘thank you’ to all who support us. That support enables us to provide help and hope to those who need our assistance.”

For nearly 100 years, U.S. presidents have called on people to support the American Red Cross and its humanitarian mission. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to proclaim March as Red Cross Month in 1943. Since that time, President Barack Obama and every other president since has issued proclamations designating March as Red Cross Month.

The Red Cross has been helping people for 130 years, responding to disasters, assisting members of the military, teaching lifesaving skills, and serving as one of the largest blood suppliers in the United States.

Nationally, the Red Cross responds to an average of nearly 200 disasters every day. The organization provides a round-the-clock link between those in the military and their families, and supplies blood and blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

The Rock River Chapter responded and provided assistance in 82 local disasters last year. The chapter processed 307 emergency military calls, trained 6,498 adults in first aid, CPR and AED classes, and trained 4,255 youth in water safety and babysitting skills.

“We work very diligently to help those in need,” Reinke said. “Whether out on a disaster, alongside our troops, at a blood drive or in a first aid class, Red Cross workers touch the lives of millions of people every year.”

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.

“When people join the Red Cross by volunteering, donating blood, taking a course or making a contribution, they enable us to continue our work, both here at home, and around the world,” Reinke said.

In honor of Red Cross Month locally:

• Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I), on behalf of the Rock River Chapter, proclaimed March as Red Cross Month for the city of Rockford during the March 7 City Council meeting.

• Tuesday, March 15, community members are invited to attend an open house at the Rock River Chapter at 727 N. Church St., from 4 to 7 p.m. Attendees can learn more about the Rock River Chapter’s emergency services, health and safety classes, services to the Armed Forces and blood collections, as well as meet Reinke, the chapter’s new executive director.

• The Rock River Chapter will continue to offer first aid, CPR and AED classes throughout the month.

From the March 9-15, 2011, issue

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