Not all heroes wear capes, but some wear an American Red Cross vest. In fact, in Tennessee more than 2,490 volunteers wear the Red Cross vest.
During March -- which U.S. presidents have proclaimed as Red Cross Month for more than 75 years -- the Red Cross honors its volunteer heroes and asks everyone to be a hero for people in need by becoming a volunteer, giving blood, learning skills that save lives, or donating on Red Cross Giving Day (March 25).
"We are proud to honor our volunteer heroes who are there day and night to help families who have experienced emergencies," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "Whether it's saving a person's life with CPR, donating lifesaving blood or comforting a family after a home fire or other crisis, these dedicated individuals are making an extraordinary difference to ease people's suffering each and every day."
Read this year's proclamation from President Donald J. Trump declaring March as Red Cross Month, an annual tradition started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943.
WHY I VOLUNTEER The Red Cross is powered by a workforce of more than 90 percent volunteers -- like Christine Medeiros. With her local Red Cross, she fulfills its mission to ease suffering by helping to reconnect families separated by international conflict, disaster or migration -- a position that she took after volunteering to reunite loved ones during the chaos of California's wildfires in 2018. Just last year, Medeiros and hundreds of other Red Cross volunteers helped reconnect more than 17,000 families separated by crises across the country and around the world.
"If you want to volunteer and actually accomplish something, this is the place," Medeiros said. "The Red Cross has so many resources and makes it easy for you to be successful."
HOW YOU CAN #HELP1FAMILY On March 25, Red Cross Giving Day, donate at redcross.org/givingday to #help1family who has lost nearly everything to a disaster in the U.S. Your gift can provide hope and urgent relief like food, shelter and other essentials. In fact, every eight minutes, someone affected by a disaster in the U.S. is helped by donations to the Red Cross. Last year's weather was so severe that Red Cross volunteers -- many who answered the call to help more than once -- worked with partners to provide more than 300 days of emergency shelter for families displaced by disasters across the country.
Any donation makes a difference -- and are key to saving lives because they fund nearly 100 percent of Red Cross disaster relief activities. For example, a gift of $95 can provide a family of three with a day's worth of food, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus blankets and other essentials.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP Visit redcross.org to learn how to get involved:
- Volunteer: There are many ways to help depending on your local chapter's needs, from providing relief during disasters to installing lifesaving smoke alarms in neighbor's homes. In some areas, you can support military members, veterans and their families, help as a blood donor ambassador to ensure blood donors have a pleasant and fulfilling experience, or volunteer as a blood transportation specialist to be the critical link between blood donors and recipients.
- Give blood: Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets to save lives.
- Learn lifesaving skills: Register for a class to learn first aid, CPR and other skills.