People worldwide rely on humanitarian aid from the American Red Cross during times of great need. For 133 years, the American Red Cross has been a place where people mobilize to help their neighbors during emergencies and disasters. And each spring since 1942, starting with Franklin Roosevelt, the U.S. President acknowledges that role and encourages volunteerism and blood donation by proclaiming March as Red Cross Month.
“Wherever there’s a need, we’ll be there,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the American Red Cross Indiana-Ohio. “That’s because our volunteers – like our neighbors -- are across the street, across the country and around the world.”
More than 3.5 million people volunteered to give blood last year, and helped provide blood products for patients in about 3,000 U.S. hospitals and transfusion centers. In addition, more than 500,000 people a year volunteer nationwide through the American Red Cross. Those volunteers make a difference through Red Cross services associated with blood donation, disaster relief, health and safety training, support to military members and families, and international aid.
“While the world changes around us, our mission never does,” said Whitman. “We’re all about helping others during times of great need – and we can do that because of the generosity of countless volunteers and donors—including people who roll up their sleeve and give blood.”
The Red Cross delivers humanitarian and community services through a network of community Chapters, and collects blood through 36 Blood Regions. In the last year, these locally-supported Chapters responded to nearly 70,000 disasters, while Blood Regions distributed about 9 million blood products. Internationally, the American Red Cross is part of a global network of more than 180 national societies, and helps more than 200 million people a year through disaster management and disease prevention activities.
“If you’re wondering how you can make a difference, you can – through your American Red Cross,” said Whitman. “We offer countless opportunities for you to help save the day for someone in need.”
There are many ways to become involved with the mission of the American Red Cross. To donate blood or find other opportunities contact the Red Cross at redcrossblood.org or 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Monday, March 17, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Teresa of Avila in the Catholic Student Center, located at 1604 Lincolnway in Valparaiso.
- Wednesday, March 19, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the YMCA, located at 1201 Cumberland Crossing Drive in Valparaiso.
- Friday, March 21, from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the YMCA of Portage, located at 3100 Willowcreek Road in Portage.
- Friday, March 28, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Culver’s, located at 2101 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso. Come to donate and receive a Culver's Frozen Custard coupon good for one pint of frozen custard.
- Monday, March 31, from noon until 6 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 2610 N. Campbell in Valparaiso.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.