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March is Red Cross Month: Be a hero in your community

March is Red Cross Month and the Western and Central New York Region asks people to be a hero for families in the community by becoming a volunteer, learning lifesaving skills, giving blood or donating to #help1family on Red Cross Giving Day, March 27.

“During Red Cross Month, we are proud to recognize our volunteers who provide hope and urgent relief to families in need every day,” says Alan H. Turner II, the Western and Central New York Regional CEO for the Red Cross.

More than 75 years ago, March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to raise awareness of the organization and its humanitarian mission. All U.S. presidents since Roosevelt have designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world through its workforce powered by more than 90 percent volunteers.

Every eight minutes in the U.S., the Red Cross connects with a family who has lost everything to a home fire or other disaster — the roof over their heads, their clothes, their most cherished possessions. Last year, more than 100 volunteers from Western and Central New York responded to deliver urgent relief and care. 

Just in 2018, local volunteers assisted more than 1,340 families affected by home fires in Western and Central New York. 

Learn more about how you can help by visiting www.redcross.org/wcny. Some ways to make a difference include:

Become a volunteer — Help families affected by disasters and install lifesaving smoke alarms to keep neighbors safe from home fires. In some areas, you can also provide emergency assistance for military members and veterans, or help reconnect families separated by international conflict.

Give blood — Make an appointment to donate lifesaving blood or platelets.

Learn lifesaving skills — Register for a class to learn first aid, CPR and other skills.

Make a financial donation — On March 27, American Red Cross Giving Day, donate at redcross.org/givingday. A gift can provide hope and urgent relief, like food, shelter and other essentials, for families who need it most.

Real Heroes Breakfasts will be scheduled to recognize volunteers in the Southern Tier and Western New York in May. 

There is also a Fire & Ice Gala set to begin at 6 p.m. March 29 at the Harro East Ballroom in Rochester. Three prestigious awards honoring local individuals and business that have made a difference in the community will be presented.

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