It’s no secret that Red Cross volunteers are a huge part of the Red Cross mission. In fact, here in Los Angeles, as in around the country, 91 percent of the work the Red Cross does is done by volunteers. During 2017, as the Red Cross responded to an unprecedented number of large-scale natural disasters and man-made emergencies, the strength, stamina and courage of our entire workforce was put to the test. But, volunteers rose to the challenge and, all in across the nation, we mobilized 56,000 disaster workers who helped to serve 13.6 million meals and snacks and distribute 7 million relief items to individuals and families facing damage and devastation.
Last month, in the spirit, honor and tradition of Red Cross Month, communities across the country came together to recognize the work of local heroes—the Red Cross volunteers who, this past year, provided more food, relief items and overnight shelter stays to people in need than in all of the last four years combined. In Los Angeles, we saw support throughout the city. Six local Los Angeles Region volunteers were featured on digital billboard ads at LAX. And, on the evening of March 28th, The U.S. Bank Tower, the City of Beverly Hills City Hall, the pylons at LAX, the Ferris wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier and the Petersen Automotive Museum lit up in red to honor every amazing Red Cross volunteer.
The other half of the Red Cross mission depends on the generosity of donors. That’s why on March 28, we asked everyone to support families impacted by disaster on Red Cross Giving Day. Every $88.50 donated throughout the day now ensures that the Red Cross can provide a family of three with urgent relief, food, shelter, and other essentials for an entire day. By the end of Giving Day 2018, across the country, we raised enough to help 26,678 families!
Although Red Cross Month has ended and Giving Day has come and gone, you can still give what you can by going to: redcross.org/giving day. Then, in the spirit of reducing deaths and injuries related to home fires, consider joining hundreds of other Red Cross volunteers to Sound the Alarm. By volunteering on a Saturday morning between April 21 and May 12 and installing free smoke alarms, you will be directly impacting lives—right here in LA. The specific dates and locations for Sound the Alarm events are: Compton – April 21, Sylmar/San Fernando – April 28, South Los Angeles – May 5 and East Los Angeles – May 12.
Lastly, a giant THANK YOU to everyone who helped to make Red Cross Month and Giving Day a huge success in Los Angeles: Nini Sakaguchi, Wil Master, Bruce Watkins, Hannah Coan, Nathan Smithson, Jeffrey Su, Chandrima Chatterjee, Ryan Patel, Mike Farrar, Karla Staples, Maribel Barraza, Samantha Yin and Ricardo Alterno.