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National Red Cross Month

I request that during that month (March) our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross. ~President Franklin D. Roosevelt, first Presidential Proclamation of March as Red Cross Month, 1943

I am a big proponent of the Red Cross. Like a lot of large non-profits, they have their issues, but at the end of the day, I truly believe that they are really there to help people. Be it with the aftermath of a house fire, providing CPR and first aid classes, or providing lifesaving blood.

I am also a huge proponent of donating blood. It is a simple, easy way to help save lives of people in need.

Every eight minutes the Red Cross helps someone in need. Whether it is someone in need of blood, or help after a fire or natural disaster, or a family needing to get in touch with a deployed soldier.

The American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest volunteer network found in 187 countries. With the amount of work the Red Cross does globally it can often be mistaken for a government organization, however, that is not the case. They depend on volunteers and through your generosity are able to spend 91¢ out of every dollar donated on humanitarian services and programs. 10 million people learn emergency skills such as CPR through the Red Cross every year.

According to, “The history of the American Red Cross is inseparable from the history of America itself. Since 1881, American Red Cross members and volunteers have been an essential part of our nation’s response to war, natural disaster and other human suffering. We’ve been witness to great tragedy, but more importantly we’ve seen the triumph of the human spirit as people work together to help each other rebuild their lives and communities.”

When the U.S. entered WWI, the Red Cross was still in development and finding its paths and programs. That did not deter them from joining the war effort.

Shortly after the war began, the American Red Cross dispatched a ship to Europe loaded with medical personnel and supplies. Named the S.S. Red Cross, it was better known as ‘The Mercy Ship.’ It carried 170 surgeons and nurses who were being sent to Europe to provide medical relief to combat casualties on both sides of the war.

By the time WWI ended, the Red Cross had established itself as a tour de force organization. It developed strong leadership, a vast membership number, universal recognition, and a broad and distinguished record of service.

The American Red Cross entered WWII even before the U.S. In 1939 they began helping civilian victims with relief supplies.

In February of 1941 the Red Cross responded to a request by the U.S. government to begin a Blood Donor Service to produce lifesaving plasma for the armed forces in anticipation of America’s entry into the war.

They were also instrumental in helping after the attack on Pearl Harbor and also responded during the Korean War.

This is just a small piece of the history of the Red Cross. They offer so many programs, classes and services to people across the globe.

Be sure to help them so they can help others. Volunteer. Donate money. Donate blood. Take one of their many online and in room classes — CPR, baby-sitting, water safety, and so much more.

Here are some upcoming blood drives that you can participate in. Remember, every blood donation can help save up to three lives.
– Tuesday, February 28th – Community Baptist Church, 1853 State Route 87, Montoursville, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
– Friday, March 17th – St. John’s Lutheran Brick Church, 196 Brick Church Road, Montgomery, noon-5 p.m.
– Friday, March 17th – Lycoming County Department of Public Safety, 542 County Farm Road, Montoursville, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
– Monday, March 20th – Montoursville Presbyterian Church, 900 Elm Street, Montoursville, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
– Wednesday, March 22nd – Duboistown United Methodist Church, 133 Summer Street, South Williamsport, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
– Thursday, March 30th – Trinity United Methodist Church, 1407 Allegheny Street, Jersey Shore, 1 p.m.-6 p.m.

The Red Cross’s Blood Donor app makes scheduling appointments and doing your pre-donation questionnaire super simple and helps save a lot of time on your donation day.