The month of March is a meaningful time for the American Red Cross. For more than 70 years, March has been recognized as Red Cross Month by Presidential Proclamation, officially established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943. This year, the annual commemoration takes on even greater significance as the Central Florida Region of the humanitarian organization marks a major milestone: a century of service!
The first local chapter started in 1917 as a response to World War I and has been serving the community ever since. Today, the Central Florida Region of the Red Cross serves 19 counties through five chapters, providing critical humanitarian services and programs:
* Volunteers respond to an average of three disasters every day (the majority of which are home fires), and come to the aid of more than 4,000 people each year affected by devastating disasters like tornadoes, floods and hurricanes.
* The Services to the Armed Forces (SAF) program helps and supports an average of 10,000 members of the military, veterans and their families each year.
* Preparedness, health and safety specialists teach more than 50,000 people life-saving skills each year so our communities can be better prepared for what may come tomorrow, or in the next 100 years.
“These humanitarian efforts exemplify who we are and what we do – every minute of every day,” said Hugh Quinn, Interim Regional Executive, American Red Cross of Central Florida. “As the Red Cross turns 100 in our local communities, it is indeed a special time to recognize and thank the everyday heroes who have given their time, talent and treasure to ensure this day would come.”
Throughout 2017, the American Red Cross will take a look back at historical events and people who have made the organization what it is today. Various special events in each of the region’s five chapters will highlight the organization’s unwavering vision of turning compassion into action. One of the first of those activities is planned for the month of March. The organization will welcome Dave Sanderson, author and survivor of the “Miracle on the Hudson,” to a series of inspirational speaking engagements across the region. Despite the hazards to himself on that fateful day, Sanderson thought only of helping others and emerged from the wreckage with a mission: to encourage others to do the right thing.
HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
In honor of Red Cross Month, central Floridians can become a volunteer, make a financial donation, or take a life-saving skills class. More information about supporting the organization is available on redcross.org. 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 Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.
The Central Florida Region of the American Red Cross serves 19 counties through five chapters: Florida’s Space Coast (Daytona Beach), Greater Orlando, Mid-Florida (Winter Haven), Southwest Florida (Sarasota) and Tampa Bay. For more information, visit redcross.org/centralflorida.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.