Month highlights Red Cross work

This month our communities’ everyday heroes are to be honored for their selfless endeavors.

March is American Red Cross Month, and it’s a good time to honor those heroes who get out in the communities helping victims of fires and floods, donate blood and ultimately save lives or donate food to help stave off hunger.

Do you realize that every nine minutes, the American Red Cross brings help and hope to people in need? Think about that statistic.

The American Red Cross has, in its more than a century of existence, come to the aid of thousands upon thousands of people. And, yes, there are thousands of Red Cross administrators and volunteers across the nation and the world who have saved the day time and time again in so many ways following disasters and emergencies.

Local chapter Executive Director Kathy Musso asked that we remember those who volunteer with the Red Cross in Jefferson County by giving their time to help their neighbors.

Our volunteers are blood donors, class takers and financial supporters.

You or someone you know may have been affected by a fire or some other disaster, such as flooding or a tornado. Tragedies occur, sometimes leaving victims injured, homeless or hungry.

As we always say, luckily, behind the victims of disasters stand the people of the American Red Cross. Long known for its blood drives and being on the scene of man-made or natural disasters, the American Red Cross has been steadfast in its mission to provide for victims in need.

Through local chapters, families are assisted with food, shelter and clothing following fires. Red Cross officials and volunteers sometimes work around the clock in freezing temperatures to provide the basic needs of life to those affected.

But the Red Cross helps in other ways that many may not be aware of. It works with the military to relay messages about family illnesses, deaths, births and other emergencies, and the organization offers health and safety programs, including adult, infant and children cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid instruction as well as lifeguard training.

Locally, our chapter in one year’s time has responded to more than 30 local emergencies, assisted 45 military families and trained approximately 1,200 people in lifesaving skills in a year’s time. And, not to be overlooked, people from this area donated 2,155 units of blood.

So we applaud the work of the many Ohio Valley volunteers who give their time and talents and rededicate themselves year after year to help others through our local Red Cross chapters.

We’re also calling out to area residents who may have some spare time, from high school and college students to senior citizens. There’s no time constraint at local Red Cross offices, and volunteers can choose to work 10 hours a day or just 10 hours a month assisting with such tasks as office duties, greeting blood donors, teaching CPR or delivering hot meals to residents during a crisis.