NEW YORK, February 26, 2021 – On the heels of record-breaking natural disasters and a global pandemic, the Red Cross calls on residents to join its lifesaving mission during Red Cross Month which kicks off March 1.
One year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the Red Cross with its dedicated team of volunteers continues to step up to address the deep and diverse needs of individuals and families reeling from the coronavirus and disasters large and small. In addition to daily disaster relief, regular blood drives, and safety and preparedness programs, the American Red Cross has expanded its endeavors to address the emotional needs of families coping with loss as a result of COVID-19.
“The past year has been overwhelming for many in our community, and yet through it all people are caring for one another,” said Mary Barnaby, Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Greater NY. “When help can’t wait, we provide families with the support they need during emergencies. During Red Cross Month in March, we honor this humanitarian spirit and ask you to join us by donating, giving blood, volunteering or taking a class to learn lifesaving skills.”
In Greater New York and across the country, trained American Red Cross disaster mental health and spiritual care volunteers have had more than 53,000 conversations to provide emotional support to people in 2020 — a year that experienced the greatest number of billion-dollar natural disasters, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In our region alone, the Red Cross responded to more than 1,900 disasters and many of our volunteers deployed across the country to respond to wildfires, floods, and hurricanes. In addition, trained volunteers have provided free crisis counseling through the Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center for grieving families during COVID-19.
Every day the Red Cross helps individuals like Jason Silva who, in the middle of the pandemic, was forced from his Bay Shore home after a devastating fire: “When you are standing there in the cold looking at your house on fire and your whole world is upside down and someone comes through with a little bit of light by showing they care and showing their support and they tell you everything is going to be alright - that warmed me up right there.”
WHAT IS RED CROSS MONTH?
For nearly 80 years, U.S. presidents have proclaimed March as Red Cross Month to recognize people giving back through its lifesaving mission — which is powered by more than 90% volunteers. The Red Cross is proud that an average of 90 cents of every dollar we spend is invested in delivering care and comfort to those in need.
HOW TO HELP
You can help ensure that families don’t face emergencies alone — especially during a pandemic:
For more information on supporting the American Red Cross, go to our website: www.redcross.org.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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 @RedCrossNY.
Michael de Vulpillieres
American Red Cross in Greater NY, Communications Officer
646 345 2868