“Please remember those who help all of us here in the Antelope Valley by giving their time to help their neighbor,” said Jeff Baumgartner, Executive Director for the Antelope Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. “We want to thank our heroes during Red Cross Month – our volunteers, blood donors, class takers and financial supporters who help us assist those in need.”
March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world. The Red Cross also collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.
In the Antelope Valley, the Red Cross responded to 41 local emergencies, assisted 237 military families and trained more than 10,000 people in lifesaving skills. And, people from this area donated nearly 9,000 units of blood.
“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross, and there are many different ways to do it,” Baumgartner said. “They can develop a preparedness plan for their household, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or take a Red Cross class, just to name a few.”
The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.
The Antelope Valley Chapter has a number of activities planned in March for Red Cross Month, including:
- A Red Cross March at the Mall event on Saturday, March 23, featuring hands-only CPR training and free emergency preparedness presentations.
- A Volunteer Orientation on March 28.
- A ‘Prepare AV’ fundraiser luncheon on April 25.
To learn more, contact the Antelope Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross at 661-267-0650 or visit www.redcrossla.org/antelopevalley.