Red Cross Volunteers Honored for their Selfless Work at March Chicago City Council Meeting.
CHICAGO, IL (March 13, 2019) In recognition of the contributions of the American Red Cross, today at the March City Council meeting, the City of Chicago proclaimed, that March Is Red Cross month, urging Chicagoans to recognize the work the Red Cross does every day in communities in Chicago and to encourage residents to lend a hand to their fellow humans in time of need.
To celebrate this proclamation, several Red Cross volunteers attended the March 13 Chicago City Council meeting and were honored by a proclamation read by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“It’s an honor for the American Red Cross to receive this proclamation from the City of Chicago. This as a recognition to the selfless work our volunteers do every day, whether is assisting a family who has lost everything in a home fire or deploying hundreds of miles away to help those affected by disasters,” said Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois.
In the city of Chicago, the Red Cross has a long history of helping our neighbors in need. In 2018, in Chicago the Red Cross assisted with 702 home fires and helped 3,672 residents post fire with next steps including shelter, housing, medication, financial aid and emotional support. Through the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign launched in October 2014, the Greater Chicago chapter has worked with community partners to install thousands of smoke alarms and making thousands of Chicago residents’ homes safer.
In April and May of 2019, the Chicago Red Cross will work with the Chicago Fire Department on broad scale smoke alarm installation events in the Austin and North Lawndale neighborhoods.
In addition, in Chicago, annually the Red Cross handles an average of 2,500 emergency military service calls every year and collects in our city annually an average of more than 10,000 units of blood, impacting up to 30,000 lives.
During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross asks everyone to be a hero in their community by becoming a volunteer, learning lifesaving skills, giving blood or donating to #help1family on Red Cross Giving Day, March 27.
The need to help people is constant—and the past year of busy national disaster activity was no exception. For 324 consecutive days, more than 43,000 people relied on the Red Cross for emergency shelter following events like record wildfires, hurricanes, floods and large apartment fires. From April 2018 to February 2019, more than 11,500 Red Cross volunteers left their homes to provide comfort, care and a safe place to sleep for tens of thousands affected by disasters. Locally, in the past year, approximately 200 volunteers from the Chicago & Northern IL Red Cross deployed to national disasters.
WHAT IS RED CROSS MONTH? More than 75 years ago, 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 to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world through its workforce powered by more than 90 percent volunteers.
EVERY EIGHT MINUTES, SOMEONE NEEDS HELP. The Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 disasters a year, most of which are home fires. In January alone, Red Cross volunteers helped about 24,000 people affected by more than 5,700 home fires across every state.
Disasters can cause other critical needs too. This winter, thousands of blood donations have gone uncollected due to snow storms and extreme cold—underscoring the constant need for eligible individuals to donate blood.
HOW YOU CAN #HELP1FAMILY Learn more about how you can help in your area by contacting your local Red Cross chapter or visiting redcross.org:
- Become a volunteer: Help families affected by disasters and install lifesaving smoke alarms to keep neighbors safe from home fires. In some areas, you can also provide emergency assistance for military members and veterans, or help reconnect families separated by international conflict.
- Give blood: Make an appointment to donate lifesaving blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.
- Learn lifesaving skills: Register for a class to learn first aid, CPR and other skills.
- Make a financial donation: On March 27—American Red Cross Giving Day—donate at redcross.org/givingday, uniting with thousands of people like you to help families during the first devastating hours of a disaster. Your gift can provide hope and urgent relief like food, shelter and other essentials for families who need it most.
.About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at redcross.org/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.