March is Red Cross Month, and Central New Yorkers can help support the American Red Cross by joining the “Heroes for the American Red Cross” campaign.
“Heroes” is a grassroots campaign where businesses, school clubs, church groups, civic organizations and individuals seek pledges to raise at least $1,000 for the American Red Cross Central New York Chapter, which includes Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Oswego counties.
The campaign will run through June, and the money raised will support Red Cross services, including disaster relief, assistance for fire victims, emergency military communications, and first aid, CPR and other lifesaving classes.
Individuals who want to usual social media to help raise money can become an “Online Hero” and utilize peer-to-peer fundraising with their own “Heroes for the American Red Cross” team.
During last year’s “Heroes” campaign, a 12-year-old girl recruited an online team that raised $1,000; an energy plant in Lycoming sold hero squares for $1 apiece and raised $1,100; and Oswego City School District teachers raised $1,600 during “Jeans Week,” when they paid to wear jeans for a day or the entire week.
To learn more about the “Heroes” program, contact Danielle Hayden, American Red Cross Oswego Branch Manager, at (315) 343-0967 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The campaign will culminate with a special night for all “Heroes” at a Syracuse Chiefs’ baseball game June 30 at Alliance Bank Stadium in Syracuse.
In addition to the “Heroes” campaign, Central New York Chapter volunteers will celebrate Red Cross Month by marching and driving emergency response vehicles in the 31st annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 9 in Syracuse.
And later this month, the Central New York Chapter and Red Cross chapters throughout the Central New York Region will host “CPR Saturday” (the date and location will be announced soon). On “CPR Saturday,” residents will be able to take a free, 30-minute course to learn how to perform hands-only CPR. Following the course, local AmeriCorps members will host a 15-minute disaster preparedness presentation.
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 also 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; 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 Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Oswego counties, the Central New York Chapter responded to 153 local emergencies, assisted 688 military members and their families, and trained 11,467 people in lifesaving skills in most recent fiscal year.
“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,” said Rosie Taravella, Chief Operating Officer of the American Red Cross Central New York Region. “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 the American Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.