March is Red Cross Month and the American Red Cross would like to recognize the nation’s Every Day Heroes who reach out to help their neighbors when they are in need. Heroes include the volunteers who rush to assist families devastated by disasters such as home fires occurring nearly every day and horrific explosions damaging entire neighborhoods as experienced recently in New Jersey.
“Our heroes are our volunteers, our blood donors, people who take our classes or those who make a financial contribution to help us help others,” said Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “During Red Cross Month we thank them and encourage everyone to discover their inner hero by giving time to help people in our community.”
For more than 70 years, all of our country’s presidents, including President Barack Obama, have designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters of all sizes big and small in this country every year. 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 millions of people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills.
In New Jersey, the Red Cross responded to 831 local home fires, assisted 2,781 military families and trained 120,824 people in lifesaving skills last year. And people in New Jersey donated 97,183 units of blood. Red Cross programs and services are delivered throughout the state by more than 4,400 dedicated volunteers with the help of 96 employees statewide.
“Red Cross Month is also a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross. It’s easy,” Nelessen said. "Become a Red Cross volunteer, work on a preparedness plan for your household, donate, give blood, or take a Red Cross class."
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 American Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs.
People in New Jersey can help support the Red Cross while filing 2013 NJ State Tax Returns. Donations can be made to the American Red Cross-NJ Fund by checking Line 64 on the NJ-1040 Form and entering Code 14.
The Red Cross North Jersey Region has a number of activities planned for Red Cross Month. The Red Cross North Jersey Region blog has a full calendar of events and information. Events include:
3/10 – Red Cross Day at the State House in Trenton - Red Cross leadership and volunteers highlight the work of the organization at the State House in Trenton.
3/10 – Youth Council of Bergen County Blood Drive in Ridgewood - The Red Cross Youth Council of Bergen County will host a blood drive from 3:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Red Cross at 74 Godwin Avenue in Ridgewood.
3/21 – Celebrate Red! Gala at TPC Jasna Polana - American Red Cross of Central New Jersey gala celebrates its volunteers, donors and community members with special honors going to Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Mrs. Dorothy (Butz) Noonan at Jasna Polana in Princeton.
3/22 – Youth Council Code Red Dance - Red Cross of Central New Jersey Youth Council will be hosting CODE RED, a fundraising dance event from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. at North Brunswick High School.
3/27– Mayors for Meals Day in Mercer County - As a show of support for the community’s seniors, mayors in Mercer County join volunteers to deliver meals to Red Cross Home Delivered Meals clients.
3/29 – The Scouts of Nutley Food Drive - As part of the Feinstein Hunger Challenge, an annual campaign to help end hunger, Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops hold a month-long food drive to benefit the Red Cross Food Pantry in Nutley. The Scouts will help sort and stock the collection at the pantry on March 29th.
3/30 – Emergency Preparedness Expo in Upper Saddle River - The Red Cross will help participants prepare for emergencies during the expo being held from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at Cavallini Middle School, 392 West Saddle River Road in Upper Saddle River.
4/3 – Celebrate Red! Gala at The Park Savoy Estate - American Red Cross of Northern New Jersey and New Jersey Crossroads Red Cross gala celebrates its volunteers, donors and community members with special honors going to Verizon, Abraham and Sharon Brender and the Jersey City Department of Public Safety at The Park Savoy Estate in Florham Park.