Red Cross to paint town red

Published 10:42 pm Friday, March 30, 2012

The American Red Cross is one of the most vital parts of Suffolk’s system of philanthropic life support. When firefighters are working to extinguish a fire in a home, Red Cross volunteers and staff members can be expected to be on the scene in short order to help the displaced family with temporary lodging, meals and clothing. When disaster struck on a larger scale in Suffolk in 2008, the Red Cross literally worked overtime to ensure that people who’d lost everything in those few seconds of horror could find a helping hand and a caring smile.

The Red Cross also provides training in lifesaving skills like CPR, training in swimming, lifeguarding and babysitting and provides emergency communications to members of the military and their families. Even more ubiquitous are the organization’s blood drives, which help stockpile blood for transfusions, surgeries and other medical procedures.

You might never notice the Red Cross intervening in the lives around you when things are going fine in your own life. But you’d notice its absence pretty quickly if things turned bad for you.

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As with many philanthropic service organizations, the work of the Red Cross could not be done without many volunteers to back up and support the few paid staff members who provide basic administrative and operational services. Perhaps even more important, though, the work of the Red Cross would not be possible without the millions of people around the world who open their wallets and donate funds to the cause.

Tonight, the Suffolk Chapter of the Red Cross holds its primary annual fundraiser, the Paint the Town Red event, whose goal is to raise money that will support the organization’s efforts right here at home. The event will feature a cocktail hour, dinner, entertainment and live and silent auctions.

Paint the Town Red will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Suffolk.

Go out and have some fun tonight. Paint the town red. You deserve it, and the Red Cross can use the help. If you didn’t get the chance to buy tickets, send in a donation by going to