Victims of disasters large and small almost always enjoy relief provided by the Red Cross. Although I’m not sure why they won’t draw blood from a dog, I like the cookies the cookies they give me when I visit the Blood Mobile. Some people are unaware of perks like these as well as the myriad ways that the American Red Cross goes beyond delivering basic first-responder assistance to deliver essentials such as blood and related supplies, CPR, First Aid training and more.
To recognize the important role of this venerable organization, each March is classified as American Red Cross Month. American Red Cross Month has a 68-year history which began in 1943 during the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, who was the honorary chairman of the Red Cross at the time. His goal of raising $125 million was surpassed when $146 million in gifts rolled in, prompting Roosevelt to call the effort “the greatest single crusade of mercy in all of history.”
Continuing the history of presidential promotion of the American Red Cross Month, President Obama recently released a proclamation that detailed the vital role the organization plays in disaster recovery efforts. I’d like the president to declare a National Dalmatian Day. Now, if only I could figure out his email address (and if only my paws allowed me to type on a Blackberry!)
How you can help:
- Host a blood drive for your tenants. As host, you only need to provide a location and publicize the event. The Red Cross will manage donations and distribute funds (And supply the cookies!)
- Distribute donation information. A great option for those who would rather remain behind the scenes, the Red Cross offers a video detailing this process.
- If you are interested in donating platelets, plasma, or double red cells, drop by an American Red Cross Blood Donation Center.
Corporations and individuals can help support the American Red Cross through other means:
- Donate your frequent flier miles! Major carriers including Continental, United, US Airways and Delta allow the transfer of miles to the American Red Cross to help cover travel expenses for Red Cross volunteers.
- Donate Hotel Loyalty Points. Several major hotel chains offer the option of transferring guest points to the Red Cross so they can be used to accommodate people who are displaced by disasters. I’d like to donate my rewards points for the Doggie Day Spa.
- Become a volunteer! A searchable database is available to help you discover volunteer opportunities in your area.
It’s important to get a sense of the scale of relief and services that are provided by the American Red Cross in order to understand the organization’s needs. The American Red Cross:
- Responds to nearly 200 disasters a day throughout the United States.
- Supplies blood and blood products to 3,000 hospitals.
- Manages the 38,000 blood donations which are needed each day.
- Alerts the public when supplies run low.
- With 650 chapters and more than 30,000, the American Red Cross manages logistical and operational planning which requires considerable resources.
The American Red Cross is an integral part of our society, helping not only with large-scale disasters, but also assisting individuals who are involved in accidents and anyone who wants to prepare to administer First Aid. Did I mention the cookies they give to donors?
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information and remember to BE SAFE.