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March is American Red Cross Month. It's a time for community members and businesses to join the Red Cross movement and help carry out its lifesaving mission with a gift of time, money or blood.
March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by resident 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.
"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," said Katharine Correll, executive director, Upper Palmetto Chapter of the American Red Cross.
"They can develop a preparedness plan for their household, take a lifesaving class, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or make a financial donation."
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.
Last year, the local Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 374 adults and children that were affected by a disaster, handled 232 military emergency communications and trained 3,969 people in lifesaving skills.
The Upper Palmetto Chapter serves Chester, Lancaster and York counties and is part of the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross.
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.