Red Cross and volunteering go hand-in-hand

February 29, 2012

Volunteer networks honored during Red Cross Month

For 131 years, the American Red Cross has been a place where people mobilize to help their neighbors during times of great need. And each spring, the U.S. President acknowledges that role and encourages volunteerism and blood donation by proclaiming March as Red Cross Month.

“Wherever there’s a need, we’ll be there,” said Diane E. Ward, CEO for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “That’s because our volunteers – like our neighbors -- are across the street, across the country and around the world.”

More than 3.5 million people volunteered to give blood last year, and helped provide blood products for patients in about 3,000 U.S. hospitals and transfusion centers. In addition, more than 500,000 people a year volunteer nationwide through the American Red Cross. Those volunteers make a difference through Red Cross services associated with blood donation, disaster relief, health and safety training, support to military members and families, and international aid.

“While the world changes around us, our mission never does,” said Ward. “We’re all about helping others during times of great need – and we can do that because of the generosity of countless volunteers and donors—including people who roll up their sleeve and give blood.”

The Red Cross delivers humanitarian and community services through a network of about 600 Chapters, and collects blood through 36 Blood Regions. In the last year, these locally-supported Chapters responded to nearly 70,000 disasters, while Blood Regions distributed about 9.3 million blood products. Internationally, the American Red Cross is part of a global network of more than 180 national societies, and helps more than 200 million people a year through disaster management and disease prevention activities.

“We’re like a family of millions,” said Ward. “Together, we’re united to bring comfort and hope wherever it’s needed through blood donation and other services.” 

Media contacts: Martha Kurtz 313-494-2745  |   Bridget Tuohey 313-576-4184