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During Red Cross Month, honor the everyday heroes

March 7, 2013

During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes the nation's Everyday Heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their communities.

"Please remember those who help all of us here in Iowa by giving their time to help their neighbors," said Leslie Schaffer, Regional Chief Executive of the Red Cross serving Greater Iowa. "We want to thank our heroes during Red Cross Month - our volunteers, blood donors, class takers and financial supporters who help us assist those in need."

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.

Gov. Terry Branstad will signed a proclamation making March 2013, American Red Cross Month in Iowa.

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 - in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

In Iowa, the Red Cross works tirelessly through its 54 employees and 2,882 trained volunteers to help when disaster strikes, when someone needs life-saving blood or the comfort of a helping hand. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families, and provides training in CPR, aquatics safety and first aid.

"Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross and there are many different ways to do it," Schaffer said. "They can develop preparedness plans for their households, become Red Cross volunteers, give blood, or take Red Cross classes, just to name a few."

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.



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