President Obama Proclaims March is Red Cross Month!

President Barack Obama has proclaimed “March is American Red Cross Month,” upholding a tradition that began 70 years ago. Started in 1943, each March, the U.S. President issues a proclamation calling upon the American public to support the Red Cross by giving blood, volunteering time or donating funds.

“This month, we honor men and women who deliver relief to communities around the world, and we renew the compassionate spirit that continues to keep our country strong and our people safe,” states the 2013 Presidential Proclamation.

The proclamation also noted the largest Red Cross disaster response in the past five years, Hurricane Sandy.

“We saw the depth of their dedication just four months ago, when the sweeping devastation of Hurricane Sandy put millions of Americans in harm’s way. In darkness and danger, thousands of professionals and volunteers stepped up to serve. They secured supplies and shelter when our people needed them most. And when times were tough, they proved that America is tougher because we all pull together.”

More than four months after landfall, donations to the American Red Cross are helping people with food, emotional support and long-term assistance. So far, the Red Cross has:

  • Served more than 13 million meals and snacks
  • Handed out more than 7 million relief items
  • Provided more than 112,000 health services and emotional support contacts
  • Mobilized more than 17,000 trained workers
  • Provided more than 81,000 shelter stays

To learn more about the continued Red Cross response to Hurricane Sandy,

In addition, this past year, the Red Cross prepared and responded to large scale disasters including severe spring storms, widespread wildfires and Hurricane Isaac in the Gulf. The Red Cross was also there in the aftermath of the tragic shootings in Aurora, Colo., Oak Creek, Wis., and Newtown, Conn., providing community support and mental health assistance. Learn more about the 2012 Red Cross response to 113 large disasters in 42 states.

To help people prepare for large scale disasters and every day emergencies, over the past year, the Red Cross developed and released a series of free smart phone applications including a First Aid app, hurricane app and wildfire app. These apps are available for download on both iPhone and Android platforms. The Red Cross will release more in the year ahead, including a tornado app early this spring.

While the Red Cross is most visible during large disasters, the work continues year-round. Every year, the Red Cross:

  • Responds to nearly 70,000 disasters
  • Teaches more than 4 million people how to prepare for disaster
  • Engages more than half a million people as Red Cross volunteers
  • Trains more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other skills to help save lives such as CPR and use of AEDs
  • Collects 6.3 million units of blood from roughly 3.7 million volunteer donors
  • Provides services to more than 400,000 military members, veterans and civilians
  • Helps nearly 150 million people through disaster management and disease prevention activities
  • Reconnects more than 1,000 families separated by war and disaster around the world

Today, the Red Cross continues to provide lifesaving services thanks to the generosity of the American public, the everyday heroes who put our mission into action in communities across the country and around the world.

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