By Tony Jones
The City of Manassas, Virginia kicked off Red Cross Month during a City Hall proclamation ceremony which recognized several local National Capital & Greater Chesapeake Region and Blood Service Ambassadors for their support in 2021, as well as their efforts during the Red Cross blood shortage.
Manassas City Councilwoman Theresa Coates-Ellis, who serves as Chair of the American Red Cross Biomedical Committee for Prince William and Loudoun Counties, hosted the event to show the city’s appreciation for area Red Cross Blood Programs.
Every March, since 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation, community leaders and local officials pause to honor local volunteers and organizations who make the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross possible. Today 90% of the lifesaving work of the Red Cross is powered by volunteers, along with generous financial contributors, blood donors and community partners. Together they are the lifeblood of the Red Cross, working together to turn compassion into action by serving others in times of crisis.
Thanks to the efforts of Red Cross partners and volunteers in 2021, over 138,000 units of lifesaving blood were collected at more than 8,000 local blood drives held across the National Capital and Greater Chesapeake region. Additionally, over 2,500 households impacted by 1,341 disasters received Red Cross assistance.
Theresa Thompson, Greater Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad, Historic District and a Red Cross Blood Program Leader and liaison, was honored with an award from the Manassas City Council. Others recognized include Mindy Johnson, Manassas Baptist Church; Tine Fisher, Manassas Church of the Brethren; Pat Phillips, Heritage Hunt Homeowners Association; Pastor John Patterson, Gainesville United Methodist Church; Heather Fife, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Gainesville; Pastor Shannon Anderson, Bethel Lutheran Church; Chaplain Rev Lee R. Roos, Knights of Columbus – George Brent Council; Luana Fitzgerald, Hampton Inn Manassas Assistant General Manager, and Reverend Drew Colby, Grace United Methodist Church.
In 2021, around 4,000 volunteers, serving as Disaster Action Team members, Blood Donor Ambassadors and Transportation Specialists, stepped up and answered the call to assist the Red Cross mission by serving their communities in times of need.
During Red Cross Month #HelpCantWait. Everyone is invited to learn more about ways to volunteer, learning lifesaving skills, or making a financial donation by heading to redcross.org. To find a location to donate blood near you go to RedCrossBlood.org.