The power of the American Red Cross relies on your generous donations and the tireless efforts of our volunteers, employees, board members and community partners — dedicated people who will continue to make a difference for thousands of lives in 2024 and beyond. As we close out 2023, we wish you a safe and healthy holiday season, and invite you to review some of our region's proudest and most memorable moments.
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Return of event provides boost to region’s Active and Retired Military
The Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) program held its first Resource Fair and BBQ since 2019. More than 100 people attended the Elmira event, which included 12 partner organizations offering information on available service.
Red Cross SAF Volunteers Honor Forgotten Veterans
Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces volunteers honored those who served our country during a Riverdale Cemetery Memorial Day activity. The SAF Committee beautified the graves of unclaimed WWI veterans that were laid to rest by the American Red Cross.
Supporting Our Veterans In Difficult Times
Volunteer-led events like “Timbits Day” or “Spam Day” bring nostalgia and joy to veterans at regional VA hospitals. “No Veteran Dies Alone” ensures former military members with no family in the area is never alone as they enter the last stages of life.
When a blizzard struck Buffalo, the Red Cross was there to help, opening shelters, providing emergency supplies and comforting those who lost family members. Volunteer drivers also ensured the supply of life-saving blood products would reach hospitals.
When Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest, interest in CPR soared. The Red Cross responded by providing free hands-only CPR education to dozens of local organizations. The Bills' training staff was also recognized by the Red Cross.
A second chance inspires a full circle moment for Red Cross CPR instructor
The Red Cross provided more than 54,000 enrollees lifesaving training in CPR/AED/First Aid, Aquatics, Caregiving and other courses. This created inspiring and lifesaving stories, including how a second chance motivated a young woman to take CPR training.
Sound the Alarm Program saves lives; makes homes and families safe
Sound the Alarm is part of a year long Home Fire Safety campaign to decrease the number of home fires and deaths. More than 3400 free alarms were installed this year, including a dramatic story of lives saved just days after smoke alarm installation.
Volunteers are essential to fulfilling our mission, with some dedicating nearly their entire lives to helping others through their Red Cross work. Blood donor ambassador Maria Polo this year celebrated her 50th year of volunteering for the Red Cross.
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The Red Cross casts a wide net of caring
When Buffalo experienced the horrific Tops shooting in 2022, volunteers from 21 states came to Western New York to help. Likewise, when residents of Guam and Hawaii suffered natural disasters, local Red Cross volunteers traveled to those locations to help
Collecting lifesaving blood products for hospitals and patients in need
During our last fiscal year, more than 108,000 blood donations were collected during 5,162 blood drives in our WNY region. These units save lives of trauma patients and those fighting diseases like Cancer and Sickle Cell who need repeated transfusions.
Providing Comfort and Relief to Community in Times of Disaster
During Fiscal Year 2023, the Red Cross of WNY responded to 846 disaster events, the vast majority of which were home fires. In the process, we assisted 1459 families. This is possible because of the work of our disaster volunteers.