Western New York volunteers advance legacy of Clara Barton, Red Cross founder
Submitted by the American Red Cross
In a period of less than a year, the Western New York region has been rocked by a tragic, mass-casualty shooting; historic snowstorms; flooding in the Southern Tier; and hundreds of home fires that have displaced families and, in some instances, resulted in loss of life. In response to all of those events, Red Cross volunteers have been there to assist their neighbors in times of greatest need, just as they do every day in fulfilling the organization’s mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering in times of emergency.
This March, the American Red Cross of the Western New York Region is honoring those who make its mission possible during the 80th annual American Red Cross Month celebration – a national tradition that began in 1943 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation. Overall, more than 1,800 people serve as volunteers throughout the 27-counties that comprise the Red Cross of WNY region.
“When help can’t wait during emergencies, people in our Western New York, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier communities rally together to provide relief and hope for neighbors in need,” said Nick Bond, regional CEO of the Red Cross of Western New York. “This humanitarian spirit is at the heart of our community, and we are proud to honor all those who make our mission possible during this year’s Red Cross Month celebration. Others can join in their commitment by donating, volunteering, giving blood or platelets, or taking a lifesaving skills course to make their community a safer place.”
Those wishing to participate in Red Cross Month can visit redcross.org to offer financial support, make an appointment to give blood or platelets, become a volunteer, or take a class in lifesaving skills, such as first aid, CPR and how to use an AED. On March 22, people can also participate in the annual Red Cross Giving Day campaign by donating at redcross.org/givingday to help provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance for people affected by disasters big and small.
Continuing Clara Barton’s Lifesaving Legacy
Today’s Red Cross volunteers, blood and platelet donors and supporters are advancing the lifesaving legacy of Clara Barton – one of the most honored women in U.S. history – who founded the American Red Cross more than 140 years ago. Her vision to prevent and alleviate human suffering has never wavered: Generation after generation, people have come together to adapt this timeless mission for their communities’ most urgent needs.
Today in the Western New York region, this includes:
•Disaster action team volunteers who leave their homes, often in the middle of the night, to respond to home fires and provide aid, comfort and financial support to impacted families. WNY volunteers responded to a total of 881 disasters in the Red Cross’ last fiscal year, most of them home fires.
•Volunteers with expertise in mental health and spiritual care who work with families who have experienced disaster, including the loss of loved ones, to help them cope with their grief and mourning.
•Volunteers who leave their homes and families for deployments to other areas of our nation, or even international sites, to respond to large-scale disasters. Dozens of Western New York volunteers traveled to Florida to assist with recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian; and to western states battling huge wildfires; and to Kentucky to provide relief in the aftermath of historic flooding. These are just a few of many examples.
Prevent a Blood Shortage
When volunteer blood and platelet donors lend an arm this March, they’ll help keep the blood supply from dropping this spring. All who come to give blood, platelets or plasma March 1-31, 2023, will receive a $10 Visa prepaid card by email. Plus, they'll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $3,000 Visa prepaid card – which could help toward expenses like gas or groceries. There will be five lucky winners. (Terms for both offers apply. Visit rcblood.org/help for details.)
Upcoming blood donation opportunities March 1-31:
March 1, 8, 15, 22: noon to 6 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive
March 3: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., UB S Pharmacy School, 160 Hayes Road
March 3, 15: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., WNY Chapter, 786 Delaware Ave.
March 7: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 Delevan Ave.
March 30: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Johnnie B. Wiley Pavilion, 1100 Jefferson Ave.
March 7: 1-6 p.m., St Pius X Roman Catholic Church, Father Weber Center, 1700 N. French Road
March 21: noon to 5 p.m., Grand Island Firehall, 2275 Baseline Road
March 11: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Church of the Nativity, 1530 Colvin Blvd.
March 16: 2-7 p.m., Tonawanda Fire Department Firehall, 44 William St.
March 24: 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 505 Cayuga St.
March 14: 1-6 p.m., The Dale Association Inc., 33 Ontario St.
March 27: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lockport Family YMCA, 5833 Snyder Drive
March 27: 12:30-6 p.m., Newfane Town Hall Community Center, 2737 Main St.
March 20: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Cristoforo Colombo Society, 2223 Pine Ave.
March 8: noon to 5 p.m., Gratwick Fire Hose Co. No. 6, 110 Ward Road
March 21: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wilson High School Library, 412 Lake St.
March 28: 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Youngstown Firehall, 625 3rd St.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or on Twitter @RedCross.