FAIRFAX, VA, January 15, 2016—To honor the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the American Red Cross is calling for people across the country to volunteer their time and talents to help others in need on Monday, January 18, 2016. As an organization powered almost exclusively by volunteerism and the generosity of donors, the 134-year-old Red Cross depends on more than 340,000 volunteers across the country to fulfill its mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in the face of emergencies. And on a day recognizing the difference one person can make, the Red Cross is asking people across the country to take time and give back.
Here are three simple ways people can make a difference on this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
• Join the Red Cross Home Fire campaign. The Red Cross and its partners manage a nationwide initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent. Through its Home Fire Campaign, the Red Cross is asking every household in America to join us in taking two simple steps that can save lives: checking or installing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home. Volunteers are needed in many areas to help install smoke alarms in at risk communities. Contact your local Red Cross chapter to get involved.
• Become a Red Cross volunteer. More than 90 percent of the Red Cross total work force is composed of volunteers. We rely on people across the country to carry out our humanitarian and lifesaving work. There are many ways to volunteer with the Red Cross. Please visit redcross.org/dc to learn more about how you can volunteer to help people in their time of need.
• Make an Appointment to Donate Blood or Platelets. The need for blood is constant. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 units of blood each day to meet the needs of accident victims, cancer patients, children with blood disorders and others. U.S. blood needs can only be met by volunteer donors. To find a Red Cross blood drive and make a donation appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
The Red Cross responds to approximately 70,000 disasters each year, and it could not fulfill its crucial mission without the vital support of volunteers across the country.
The Red Cross also depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting http://www.redcross.org/dc, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter at 8550 Arlington Boulevard, Fairfax, VA 22031.
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/dc or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossNCR.