At RJWestmore by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services, we like to give credit to organizations that are doing a good job helping people prepare and/or recover from natural and manmade disasters. Since the American Red Cross is just such an organization, we take pride in honoring their work now because March is Red Cross Month. In communities across the country and around the globe, the Red Cross is providing support to help people. One of the Red Cross programs I’m partial to is called Animal Assisted Therapy.
Created by Clara Barton in 1881, the American Red Cross was officially chartered by Congress in 1900 to provide national and international relief during disasters, and to give relief to the military and serve as a means of communication between members of the Armed Forces and their families. From the start, people in the United States have volunteered and donated funds to support the Red Cross’ mission to provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Way to go, Red Cross!
The first ever Red Cross Month was proclaimed in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a way to encourage fundraising efforts for needs brought on by World War II. Since that time, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month.
Today, the American Red Cross:
- Responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year.
- Provides shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. The Animal Assisted Therapy is one great example of this. Dogs are especially great at providing a shoulder to cry on.
- Offers 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families (in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world).
- Collects and distributes more than 40 percent of this country’s blood supply. That’s a lot of blood. I try not to think about it or I start getting dizzy.
- Trains more than 9 million people across the United States in first aid, water safety and other skills each year.
Not a government agency, the Red Cross relies solely on donations of time, money and blood in order to mobilize to provide life-changing and often lifesaving services down the street, across the country and around the world. There are four primary ways that volunteers can further the work of the Red Cross:
- Donate money. A gift of any size supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross whether it’s responding to a disaster, collecting lifesaving blood, teaching skills that can save a life, or assisting military members and their families. And I hear that any amount is appreciated. That’s good news for those of us with limited funds.
- Give blood and/or platelets. Since platelets have a shelf-life of just five days, it is imperative that there are enough platelets on hand to meet the needs of hospital patients across the country. And since the Keebler® elves and the American Red Cross are partnering to recognize acts of kindness with a delicious treat, when you give blood, you’ll get a Keebler® cookie. I’d prefer a slice of bacon. But I could make a cookie work too.
- Volunteer your time in person or online. The Red Cross looks for people with various backgrounds, talents and skill levels. Needs are often specific, based on current events and levels of necessary ground support.
- Take Part in Disaster Relief
- Support and/or Sponsor Local Blood Drives
- Lead a Group of Volunteers
- Conduct a Workplace Giving Campaign
- Create an Online Fundraiser
- Donate a Percentage of Sales
- Fundraise through an Auction
- Fundraise through a Telethon or Radio-thon
- Collect Consumer Donations
- Organize functions for Groups, Schools and Individuals (I think one great idea would be a Red Cross walk-with-your-pet-a-thon. Just a suggestion.)
Through a strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, The American Red Cross aspires to turn compassion into action so that all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope; communities are ready and prepared for disasters; everyone in the country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products; all members of the armed services and their families can find support and comfort whenever needed; and in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.
We at RJWestmore by Universal Fire/Life Safety Services offer congratulations to the Red Cross for 132 years successfully promoting disaster preparation and recovery across the world! When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. Our interactive, building-specific e-learning training system motivates and rewards tenants instantly! It’s a convenient and affordable solution to all of the training needs of your building(s). Choosing our service cuts property management training related workloads by 90% and saves you over 50% compared to conventional training! More importantly, IT SAVES LIVES!