CENTRAL FLORIDA-- MARCH 1, 2019 – The month of March is recognized as Red Cross Month, honoring hundreds of thousands of volunteers and everyday heroes who have served our communities for more than 100 years. In acknowledgment of this long-standing tradition, the Red Cross of Central Florida invites people to join us as a volunteer, take a life-saving class or make a financial donation to #help1family on national Red Cross Giving Day – March 27.
March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to raise awareness of the organization and its humanitarian mission. All U.S. presidents since Roosevelt have designated March as Red Cross Month. We celebrate the month by honoring our heroes – our volunteers – more than 90 percent of the American Red Cross workforce.
EVERY DAY, VOLUNTEERS HELP Every eight minutes in the U.S., someone affected by a disaster is helped by the Red Cross. In 2018, volunteers helped millions of people reeling from a second consecutive year of record wildfires, hurricanes, tragic shootings and other large disasters across the country. We also respond to every day disasters like home fires, help and support members of the military, and teach life-saving skills like CPR and first aid.
The Red Cross of Central Florida has served our communities since 1917, and much of our work is accomplished through the power of our volunteers. In 2018, these everyday heroes did some extraordinary things:
- Responded to more than 1,150 disasters across 19 counties, assisting 1,675 families;
- Deployed 200 Central FL disaster workers on 300 individual assignments supporting major relief operations outside the region.
- Partnered with fire departments and community volunteers through our Home Fire Campaign, making more than 5,600 families safer and installing more than 12,800 free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at-risk for home fires.
- Reached more than 10,700 children with free emergency preparedness programming.
- Provided more than 7,400 emergency services to military members, veterans and their families.
- Taught more than 65,300 people life-saving skills like first-aid, caregiving and water safety so our communities can be better prepared when the need arises.
REGIONAL RECOGNITION We are proud to "light up the night" on Giving Day – March 27 with iconic places across Central Florida glowing red. Keep an eye out in downtown Tampa and Orlando Healing Hearts, Caring Handsfor buildings, fountains and landmarks illuminated in honor of Red Cross Month. This year, we are also debuting a special photography exhibition named “Healing Hearts, Caring Hands” featuring portraits and stories of more than 30 of our beloved volunteers. The exhibition opens March 4 at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Daytona Beach featuring the works of Charles Hodges, professor, School of Photography at Daytona State College, and students.
HOW YOU CAN HELP During the month of March, be a hero and join the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross:
- Register to volunteer at www.redcross.org/volunteer.
- Sign up to take a life-saving class at www.redcross.org/take-a-class
- Make a financial donation to #help1family on Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising campaign on Wednesday, March 27, supporting the work of the Red Cross. Donations provide hope and urgent relief such as food, blankets and essentials to people who need it most. Visit www.redcross.org/givingday or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.
The Central Florida Region of the American Red Cross serves 19 counties through five chapters listed above. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/centralflorida or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.
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 or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.