March is Red Cross Month and the American Red Cross is looking for people to join in helping those in need by volunteering their time, making a donation, taking a class, or giving blood.

March is Red Cross Month and the American Red Cross is looking for people to join in helping those in need by volunteering their time, making a donation, taking a class, or giving blood.

“When someone provides a hot meal to a disaster victim, gives blood, takes a first aid class, or helps someone in the military, they join the Red Cross,” said James Love, Executive Director, Wayne County Chapter. “We want to say ‘thank you’ to all who support us. That support enables us to provide help and hope to those who need our assistance.”

Erin Caldwell, assistant director for marketing and communications in the Finger Lakes area, said they have positions to fit most any schedule. There is always a need for disaster action team members who are trained to respond to small scale emergencies, such as a fire, and offer assistance to victims and assess damage, Caldwell said.

“People love doing this work,” she added.

Volunteers to man booths at special events is another need, including the upcoming 5K race on June 11. In Wayne County specifically, people are needed to help with blood drives as canteen workers handing out cookies and juice and blood donor callers; case workers, mental health workers and nurses for disaster aid; instructors, office assistant and a mannequin cleaner for health and safety; and office help in the form of a receptionist for the front desk and caseworkers.

Training is provided and volunteers must undergo a background check, Caldwell said.

For nearly 100 years, U.S. Presidents have called on people to support the American Red Cross and its humanitarian mission. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to proclaim March as Red Cross Month in 1943. Since that time, every president since have issued proclamations designating March as Red Cross Month.

The Red Cross has been helping people for 130 years, responding to disasters, assisting members of the military, teaching lifesaving skills, and serving as one of the largest blood suppliers in the U.S.

Nationally, the Red Cross responds to an average of nearly 200 disasters every day. The organization provides a round-the-clock link between those in the military and their families, and supplies blood and blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

The Wayne County Chapter has already responded and provided assistance in 10 local disasters this year, a response rate that strains the organization’s annual budget.

“We work very diligently to help those in need,” Love said. “Whether out on a disaster, alongside our troops, at a blood drive or in a first aid class, Red Cross workers touch the lives of millions of people every year.”

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.

“When people join the Red Cross by volunteering, donating blood, taking a course or making a contribution, they enable us to continue our work, both here at home, and around the world,” Love said.

For more information on volunteering, call 331-3783 or visit www.waynecountyredcross.org.