We are one disaster away from realizing how important the American Red Cross really is.
Just ask a number of local families displaced by fires this winter, or people in the communities ravaged by tornadoes in the Midwest and South this week.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families, collects and distributes more than 40 percent of the nation's blood supply and trains more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.
Judy Hudnall sifts through the debris left from Wednesday morning’s storm in Henderson Ky. Wednesday.
Last summer, here in Iowa, the American Red Cross responded to severe storms, tornadoes, home fires and flooding, providing more than 169,000 meals and snacks, 272 overnight shelter stays and assisting 3,500 military families with pre-deployment briefings.
Our local Red Cross - the Iowa Rivers Chapter - has remained mission-driven following extensive restructuring. While functions have been consolidated, services remain the same.
Thousands of local people are trained in Red Cross classes at the South Center Street office location, blood donor services are steady and the Marshalltown area is home to dozens of disaster volunteers.
The American Red Cross has been helping people for more than 130 years. This March, during Red Cross month, we ask that you remember to support our local Red Cross by making a donation, taking a class or becoming a volunteer.