Red Cross Seeks Help During Special Month
Each year, the month of March is nationally designated as Red Cross Month, first proclaimed in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
According to Red Cross officials, this time of year provides an excellent opportunity to assist the humanitarian organization in maintaining the lifesaving services it provides.
“The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, as it has been doing for more than 130 years,” said Carol Ann Lentz, acting executive director of the Moore County chapter. “Please remember those who need our help during Red Cross Month by making a donation, becoming a volunteer, taking a class, or giving blood in support of the Red Cross mission.”
The organization responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected, Lentz said. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world.
She said the Red Cross also collects and distributes more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than 9 million people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills every year.
“From July 2010 until June 2011, the Moore County chapter, which includes Richmond County, responded to 79 local emergencies, assisted 114 military families and trained 2,855 people in lifesaving skills,” Lentz said.
Some 2,769 units of blood were donated from the area.
Meg Finnin, Moore County chapter program services coordinator, said monetary donations designated for area use are always used locally.
“Your donations definitely go where they are specified,” she said. “We ask that you always be sure to write ‘Moore County’ or ‘local disaster’ in the memo line of your check to ensure it is implemented locally. We always honor the donor’s intention.”
The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of “time, money and blood” to do its work. According to Lentz, an average of 91 cents from every dollar given to the Red Cross goes toward direct services.
“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to support our mission,” Lentz said. “Your kindness will enable us to continue our work, both here at home and across the globe.
“We want to thank everyone for their generosity, which has enabled us to help people here at home, across the United States, and around the world.”
The Moore County Chapter has several activities planned for Red Cross Month, including a blood drive on March 20 at the FirstHealth Fitness Center, 170 Memorial Drive in Pinehurst, from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Representatives will be at Aberdeen Lake March 15 for a health and safety fair from 1 to 3 p.m., where “all are welcome to stop by and ask questions as we approach tornado and hurricane season for 2012,” Finnin said.
Volunteers are sought for local disaster assistance and at blood drives, Finnin said, where they would serve as greeters and canteen personnel.
“The volunteers’ duties will have nothing to do with collecting blood,” she said.
The Moore County Red Cross Chapter is at 115 East Pennsylvania Ave. in Southern Pines. Office hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Fridays. Donations can be made by visiting the offices or by mailing a check in care of the Moore County Chapter to P.O. Box 407, Southern Pines, NC 28388.
John Lentz joined The Pilot staff this week. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is not related to Carol Ann Lentz, quoted in the story.
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