Ithaca Mayor Proclaims March as Red Cross Month

Mayor Myrick and Barry Stein
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.

Ithaca Mayor Svante L. Myrick signed a proclamation on March 11 declaring March 2013 as American Red Cross Month.

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.

During Red Cross Month the American Red Cross of Tompkins County is inviting residents to join the ranks of Red Cross volunteers and donors by participating in Red Cross Month activities.

“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 Barry Stein, Community Chapter Executive of the Tompkins County Chapter. “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 Tompkins County Chapter of the Red Cross is saving lives every day. We have a compelling mission that serves all members of our community,” Stein added. “Whether collecting blood, training individuals and groups in CPR and first aid, providing services to soldiers and their families, reaching out to the homeless, or responding to emergencies, the Red Cross provides a critical service that enhances the quality of life in Tompkins County.”

In Tompkins County last year, the Red Cross responded to 16 disasters and provided shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to 45 people. It collected and distributed 6,431 units of blood locally, and trained 4,599 people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills. The Red Cross’ Homeless Services program prevented 109 evictions, distributed more than 8,500 meals at our Friendship Center, and provided 325 people with more than 3,000 nights of emergency shelter and 11,852 meals.

The American Red Cross of Tompkins County has a number of activities planned for Red Cross Month:

Community Wide Food Drive

The Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross is seeking donations of healthy non-perishable food and cleaning supplies during Red Cross Month to fill the shelves of our Food Pantry located at the American Red Cross Friendship Center in downtown Ithaca.

Donations can be dropped off at the following sites during March:

• Tops Friendly Markets, 2300 North Triphammer Road, Ithaca

• Neighborhood Pride, 210 Hancock Street, Ithaca

• P & C Fresh, 315 Pine Tree Rd, Ithaca

• Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca

• City Hall, 108 East Green Street, Ithaca

• The Red Cross Friendship Center, 618 West State Street, Ithaca

• The Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2 Ascot Place, Ithaca

Items that are needed include:

• Canned or dried beans

• Canned meats (deviled ham, potted meat, tuna, chicken)

• Pasta and sauce

• Rice (white, brown, flavored)

• Canned or dried soups

• Canned meals (beef stew, chili)

• Boxed dinners (Hamburger Helper, macaroni and cheese)

• Breakfast cereal and instant oatmeal

• Canned fruits and fruit juices

• Canned vegetables (green beans, peas, mixed vegetables, corn, diced tomatoes)

• Boxed potatoes and stuffing mix

• Crackers and snacks (fruit chews, cookies, pretzels)

• Baby formula and baby food

• Peanut butter and jelly

• Toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissue

• Disinfectant cleansers and sprays

• Hand sanitizer

• Laundry detergent and bleach

• Ziploc bags

• Liquid hand soap

• Dish detergent

Red Cross Month at Wendy’s

Throughout March, the Wendy’s restaurant at 326 Elmira Road, Ithaca, will sell “March is Red Cross Month” squares for $1 each to post on their windows. All proceeds will support essential Red Cross services.

Give Blood!

During Red Cross Month Tompkins residents are encouraged to give blood. Giving blood once can save up to three lives. Here are blood drives for the remainder of March:

• Wednesday March 13, 1 to 6 p.m. at Dryden Veterans Home, 2272 Dryden Road, Dryden

• Tuesday March 19, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Enfield Fire Department, 172 Enfield Main Road, Ithaca

• Thursday March 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 1019 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca

• Friday March 22, 1 to 6 p.m. at Danby Federated Church, 1859 Danby Road, Ithaca

• Friday March 29, 1 to 6 p.m. at Ramada, 2310 North Triphammer Rd, Ithaca

For a complete list of blood drives or to sign up to give, please visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-Red-Cross (733-2767).

CPR Saturday

Red Cross Month will culminate with “CPR Saturday” on March 30. 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. Locations and times will be announced, and registration will be required for these free presentations.

Are you a hero?

Become a “Hero for the American Red Cross” this month. “Heroes” is a grassroots campaign that runs through June where businesses, school clubs, religious groups, civic organizations and individuals seek pledges to raise at least $1,000 for the Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross. Individuals who want to use 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.

To learn more about the “Heroes” program, contact Danielle Hayden, American Red Cross Oswego Branch Manager, at (315) 343-0967 or danielle.hayden@redcross.org.

Become a Volunteer

The Red Cross is seeking daytime volunteers to serve a variety of positions in our Food Pantry, Blood Drives, Homeless Services, and Chapter office. Register today at www.redcross.org/ny/ithaca/volunteer.

For more information on Red Cross Month or how to get involved, please contact the Tompkins County Chapter of the American Red Cross at 607-273-1900 or visit the Chapter at 2 Ascot Place, Ithaca.