March: American Red Cross Month

Editor:

You may have heard that March is American Red Cross Month. As one of the nation's oldest known humanitarian organizations, the Red Cross has been at the forefront of helping Americans prevent, prepare for and respond to large and small disasters for 127 years. Families and communities depend on the Red Cross in times of need; yet the Red Cross depends on the support of the American people to help sustain the foundation.

Each year during the month of March we formally recognize the Muskingum Lakes Chapter of the Red Cross and its essential humanitarian role in our community and the role of the chapter making Carroll, Harrison and Tuscarawas counties a better place. We focus on the spirit of the volunteers, donors, partners and employees who support the Red Cross mission of humanitarianism.

During one of the most significant events in our area last year, the Red Cross was able to extend a helping hand to thousands of area residents who went without power for numerous days by bringing them much needed relief.

With the commitment of support from many area organizations the chapter was able to set up sites for respites, shelters and shower facilities and provide food and water to those who were in need. Food and water were delivered by Red Cross volunteers to those in the surrounding area who were shut-in or had no transportation.

Earlier, we once again experienced massive flooding throughout the three counties. Volunteers stepped up to provide the emergency needs of flood victims who were isolated or evacuated. Each disaster is different in the how it affects the community, but we must be ready to respond.

New in 2009, the Red Cross will be working with the Eastern Ohio AED Initiative program, which is a charitable fund with the purpose to purchase and distribute Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to non-profit community and city organizations, law enforcement vehicles, and churches within Carroll, Harrison and Tuscarawas counties. As part of the distribution of the AED's the Red Cross will be providing the CPR and AED trainings.

For more than 92 years, the Red Cross locally has relied on the everyday heroes who donate time, blood or money; heroes who help teach others to save lives with CPR and AEDs, heroes who respond to home fires; and heroes who instruct youth how to swim and be safe at home and school. The Muskingum Lakes Chapter is one of more than 700 chapters across the country who tirelessly serves their community thanks to these heroes.

The Red Cross is the organization in the community that many rely on for help, comfort, advice and compassion. On behalf of the Muskingum Lakes Chapter, I thank you for any donation of time, blood or money you can make to help us continue our services by calling (330) 343-8633 or visiting www.mlcredcross.org.

Thank you for your support.

Chad Conrad

Director, Muskingum Lakes Chapter

New Philadelphia