Thanks for supporting Red Cross

Published 9:17 pm Saturday, March 19, 2011

The American Red Cross is one of the oldest and most trusted relief organizations there is.

Internationally, the Red Cross rushes to the scenes of earthquakes and tsunamis, like the recent disaster in Japan, as well as hurricanes and various other massive catastrophes. The organization carries tons of emergency supplies every year all around the globe to victims and rescuers alike to aid in the relief effort.

Locally, however, their services are less well-known and on a smaller scale. But anybody in Suffolk who has ever experienced a house fire or flood, given or received a blood donation, or received expert CPR training or babysitter training knows all about what the Red Cross does in the community.

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Unfortunately, during a recession, the charities who help the less fortunate in the community see their incomes go down even as the demand for their services goes up. When cash-strapped citizens feel the need to tighten their belts, charitable contributions are among the first expenses to be cut out of the budget.

Meanwhile, people who have lost their jobs or places to live turn to the charities and nonprofits in increasing numbers, putting overwhelming demand on these organizations.

In light of the economic situation, it is encouraging to see a fundraiser for one of these organizations selling out, like the American Red Cross Suffolk chapter’s “Paint the Town Red” did on Friday evening. About 220 ticket holders supported the chapter’s local services with the price of admission, bids on auction items, purchase of raffle tickets and tips for their celebrity waiters to perform crazy antics and tricks. It was the first sell-out in 13 years of the event.

Every person in Suffolk may someday need the services of the Red Cross, so we all owe hearty thanks to all those who supported Friday’s event, whether through buying tickets, volunteering to be a waiter or donating auction items. In these hard times, it’s important for everyone to help however we can.