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Westfield G & E, YMCA and Boys & Girls Club Support the Red Cross

Little boy getting a measles vaccine
The money raised this month will save hundreds of children around the world from a disease that is no longer considered a threat in the United States.

During the month of March, Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes the nation’s Everyday Heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their communities. This year the American Red Cross of Greater Westfield is partnering with Everyday Heroes – Westfield Gas and Electric, the Westfield Y.M.C.A. and the Westfield Boys and Girls Club - to provide measles inoculations, which will save thousands of lives in countries and villages all over the world. The flag raising served as a kick-off for the campaign.

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.

“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross, and participating in the measles initiative is a great way to do it,” said Richard Rubin, Red Cross of Greater Westfield Director. “It is one of the greatest global public health initiatives of our lifetime and it has been found to be the most cost-effective. This is a philanthropic investment a person can feel good about in more ways than one.”

Very sadly, outside of the United States, 450 children are still dying each and every day because they don't have the means for inoculations. In less than a decade, the Measles Initiative has vaccinated more than 1 billion children against measles and reduced deaths by 78% globally. The Measles Initiative system makes it possible to vaccinate a child against measles for only one dollar. As long as children are still dying from measles, the work is not done.

So the Measles Initiative keeps going....country by country, village by village. Westfield Gas and Electric has generously agreed to include information about the Red Cross measles initiative with donation requests in their February invoices to customers. In addition to the Westfield Gas and Electric insertion of donation request slips in its February invoices, the Westfield Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and American Red Cross Chapter will be holding special events throughout the month to educate Westfield youth about the measles epidemic, and raise funds for life-saving vaccinations. “We couldn’t be happier with the generosity of Westfield Gas and Electric and the partnership with the Y and the Boys and Girls Club,” said Rubin. They truly are Everyday Heroes. The money raised this month will save hundreds of children around the world from a disease that is no longer considered a threat in the United States.”

Anyone wishing to be an Everyday Hero and support the Red Cross Measles Initiative can send a donation to the American Red Cross, Greater Westfield Chapter, PO Box 1324, Westfield, MA 01086. The check should be made out to American Red Cross, Greater Westfield Chapter and have noted in the memo section Measles Initiative. Donations can also be made by visiting www.redcross.org or by texting "PREVENT" to 90999. For more information about the Measles Initiative visit http://www.measlesrubellainitiative.org/ or watch this video.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcrosscwm.org or join our blog at http://masslive.com/red-cross-connection or http://americanredcrossofcentralma.wordpress.com/.