Every day, more than 500 local chapters and 36 blood regions carry out the mission of the American Red Cross in communities across the country. They are on the front lines preparing for and responding to disasters, assisting with blood drives and teaching classes on health, safety, and preparedness.
With March is Red Cross Month just a few days away, take a minute to read about a day in the life of the Red Cross as our lifesaving mission is put into action.
Every 8 minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the community. Most often, these disasters are home fires. At any time of day or night, trained Red Cross volunteers are activated to respond to the scene of home fires and provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected.
And while these disasters won’t make headlines, for the family affected, the personal tragedy is overwhelming. Since many escape their homes with little or nothing, Red Cross volunteers wrap a blanket around the family’s shoulders, offer drinks and snacks, make sure the family has some place to go, and help them take the next steps toward recovery.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. During the summer, blood donations are historically low while people are busy with summer activities and vacation. That’s what makes hosting and attending blood drives at this time of the year even more critical. Each donation can help save as many as three lives.
The Red Cross is asking eligible donors to give blood or platelets as soon as possible as blood products are being distributed to hospitals almost as quickly as donations are coming in. While some donors are still enjoying summer activities, patients are unable to take a vacation from needing lifesaving transfusions.
Across the country, 20,000 people a day receive lifesaving Red Cross health and safety training. Classes such as First Aid, have helped millions of people get the skills they need to help friends, family and strangers.
In addition to taking a First Aid class, today hundreds of thousands of people are downloading the free Red Cross First Aid app. While no replacement for training, the app gives you instant access to the information to know how to handle the most common first aid emergencies.
Volunteers constitute 94 percent of the Red Cross humanitarian workforce who bring the lifesaving services to communities across the country.
The Red Cross is always looking for people with various backgrounds, talents and skill levels to volunteer. Types of volunteers include disaster volunteers, blood drive volunteers, group and employee volunteers, youth volunteers, nurse volunteers and digital volunteers.
The Red Cross wants you to be prepared for whatever emergency arises, whether at home, at school or at work. Red Cross chapters can teach you the steps you can take now to be prepared everywhere.
Last year, 2.4 million people attended a Red Cross disaster preparedness presentation.
Find out more about your local Red Cross and the work they do in your community today!