Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March is Red Cross Month

Throughout Utah, [Monday, March 2, 2009] -- March is Red Cross Month, a time to recognize the life-saving difference the American Red Cross makes for people around the world, across our nation and right here in Utah every day.

Year round, the American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. During the fiscal year 2008-2009, the Red Cross in Utah responded to local disasters and helped 951 individuals with emergency food, shelter and supplies; educated more than 78,000 people in disaster preparedness; trained 54,654 people in CPR and first aid, 53,679 in water safety, 396 in babysitting and care giving, and 5,996 in HIV/Aids; and provided 971 emergency military communications. The Blood Services region collected 116,749 units of blood ensuring that an adequate and safe blood supply was available in 29 Utah hospitals.

During this month, the American Red Cross in Utah will celebrate with a variety of activities. The Greater Salt Lake Chapter hosts its annual Heroes event for 10 local heroes: Ordinary individuals in our community who have done something extraordinary. Like Skip Morgan who volunteers 50 hours per month teaching people to save lives and has saved a life himself, or Belem Jimenez and Robert Storey who rushed to the aid of a customer at their bank and saved his life using Red Cross CPR skills. You’ll hear their very inspiring and heartwarming stories at the Heroes Luncheon on March 18, 2009 at 11:30 am at the Salt Lake Convention Center. A complete list of the heroes with their personal heroic stories can be found online as well. For more information about the heroes or the event, visit www.utahredcross.org or call (801)323-7000.

The Blood Services Region in Utah will observe Red Cross Month at several of the many blood drives held throughout the state in March. There is one very special blood drive being held this month at the Salt Lake Donor Center on March 23. It will be held in honor of 14-year-old Lizzie Bell, a transfusion recipient in Arizona who has become a dedicated and determined champion of blood donating. Her home was demolished and rebuilt as one of the episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition which will be aired on KTVX Channel 4 on March 22.

In Ogden, Northern Utah will host a “Celebration of Local Heroes” on March 24th at noon at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center. Four individuals will also be in the spotlight this month with a feature about “How the Red Cross changed their lives,” posted at the Chapter office. Cache County Red Crossers and Utah State University will host a 5k run on March 28th.

The Mountain Valley Chapter, based in Provo, celebrates Red Cross Month with the 5th Annual Run for Red 5k event on March 7th, 10 am at Independence High School. Registration and other information can be found at www.RunForRed.org There will also be a free community class on Thursday March 26th entitled "Evacuating your home, what to expect from your 72-hour kit.” More information on this class and more call (801)373-8580.

March is a great time to learn more about the “splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked more than 6 decades ago and President Barack Obama echoes today: Be a volunteer, make a donation, give blood or take a class offered by the American Red Cross.

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