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Red Cross to Help People Be Better Prepared for Disasters through MLK Day Service Project

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NILES, Mich., January 16, 2014— As a part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, volunteers from the American Red Cross of Berrien and Van Buren Counties will be canvassing the neighborhood around Eastside Elementary School in Niles on January 20 to talk with residents about ways they can get involved with their local Red Cross chapter.

“The Red Cross is committed to serving our community,” said Breeze Ettl, chapter executive for the American Red Cross of Berrien and Van Buren Counties. “To honor the legacy of service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., volunteers are spreading the word to people in our community about how they can get connected with the mission of the Red Cross.”

Red Cross volunteers, along with other partners from Eastside Elementary School, are going door-to-door to talk with residents and hand out door hangers with information on the different services and programs offered at their Red Cross chapter.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year across the nation, and most are smaller disasters such as home fires. When a disaster occurs, the Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to meet the immediate needs of those affected. All Red Cross disaster assistance is free to people affected by disasters.

People can support those in the local community affected by disaster by making a donation to the Red Cross of Berrien and Van Buren Counties by going to or calling (269) 556-9619.

Those wishing to learn more about making an emergency plan should visit

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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.