Suffolk chapter members celebrate Red Cross month

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 4, 2005

Staff report

The Suffolk Chapter of the American Red Cross is celebrating Red Cross Month this March by giving thanks to the thousands of people in this community who have personified America’s humanitarian spirit by donating their time, money and blood during the last year.

America has always been a place of humanitarian action and compassion: a place where people take care of each other whether they are down the block or around the globe.

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Putting compassion into action is deeply rooted in the American character and the people in Suffolk are no exception.

&uot;Although hurricanes and tsunamis make the headlines, many people forget that the day-to-day work of the Red Cross takes place in communities like ours, and is made possible by ‘hometown heroes’ who volunteer their time, and is funded by voluntary contributions from local citizens and businesses,&uot; said John Bright, volunteer chairman of the Suffolk Chapter.

Suffolk residents volunteered a many hours this year to help local families when disaster strikes; teach their neighbors lifesaving skills such as first aid, CPR and water safety; help local military families communicate during emergencies; and much more.

One of these hometown heroes is Sonny Wiggins, a Disaster Action Team member.

Thanks to Sonny and more than 20 other volunteers who have, on their own time, received special training on how to help families when disaster strikes, more than 30 local families received immediate assistance-shelter, food, clothing-when disasters, such as fires, forced them from their homes, this year.

Many others actively volunteer their time, including Lloyd White teaching first aid and CPR; Ella Wells serving refreshments at blood drives and Iva Mitchell preparing KidCare ID packages, just to name a few.

In addition to regular CPR and first aid classes and many blood drives scheduled through the city, the Suffolk Chapter hosts CPR Family Day during Red Cross Month.

CPR Family Day provides Adult CPR at less than half price on March 5.

The chapter signature fundraising event will also be held in March.

Tickets are still available for Paint The Town Red Celebrity Benefit & Auction to be held on March 15 at Cedar Point Club.

For more information on these events, contact the chapter at (757) 539-6645.

&uot;America has always been a place where people look out for each other.

We really want to thank everyone who chose the Red Cross as their way to help out in our community,&uot; says Faye Byrum, Executive Director of the Suffolk Chapter.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared March 1943 to be Red Cross Month – a tradition that has been continued every year, by every president since then.

Governed by volunteers and supported by community donations, the American Red Cross is a nationwide network of nearly 900 field units dedicated to saving lives and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Led by 1 million volunteers and 36,000 employees, the Red Cross annually mobilizes relief to families affected by more than 70,000 disasters, trains almost 12 million people in lifesaving skills and keeps U.S. military families connected worldwide. The Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products to more than 3,000 hospitals across the nation and also assists victims of international disasters and conflicts at locations worldwide. Marsha J. Evans is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross.