COLUMBIA, S.C., Monday, March 10 – South Carolina’s Governor proclaimed March as Red Cross Month in South Carolina Friday, recognizing the daily efforts of the American Red Cross providing disaster assistance or life-saving blood.
Meeting with Red Cross volunteers and staff at the capitol Friday, Gov. Nikki Haley thanked them for the work done by the Red Cross. This year’s theme is “Not All Heroes Wear Capes” and honors the Red Cross volunteers who donate blood, platelets, their time and resources to support the Red Cross.
“Whether it’s the Front Street fires in Georgetown or the recent winter storms, the Red Cross is always there,” Gov. Haley said.
South Carolina is made up of two Red Cross regions, Palmetto SC and Western Carolinas and the South Carolina Blood Services. Haley’s husband, Michael, recently joined the Central SC Chapter’s board after his December return from a year-long deployment to Afghanistan with the South Carolina Army National Guard.
“This year has already started off busy for the Red Cross with winter storms and home fires,” said Bill Cronin, Central SC Chapter Executive Director, who was on hand to meet the Governor. “We appreciate Governor Haley’s ongoing support of the Red Cross and proclaiming this month as Red Cross Month here in our state.”
March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month in 1943 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 American 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 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.
The Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to patients in 54 hospitals. Approximately 500 people need to give blood or platelets each week day to meet hospital demands. Blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days, up to 24 times a year. Last year the South Carolina Blood Services collected 106,045 red blood cells and 24,937 platelets.
Because of trained disaster volunteers and financial assistance from the community, Red Cross has been able to help more than 1,000 people affected by disasters in the Palmetto SC region since Jan. 1. On average, the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region responds to a disaster every 6.5 hours. The Palmetto SC Region is made up of seven Red Cross chapters spanning 35-counties of South Carolina.
The Western Carolinas Region is comprised of 11 counties in upstate South Carolina and 16 counties in western North Carolina. Over the past two months has responded to more than 200 disasters affecting more than 600 residents of the region. This represents a 30 percent increase in disasters compared to the same period last year.
Anyone interested in making a financial contribution or volunteering with the American Red Cross can visit www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
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 Redcross.org.