President Barack Obama has proclaimed March as Red Cross Month across the country, a tradition upheld by each of our nation’s leaders since President Franklin D. Roosevelt first recognized Red Cross Month in 1943.
“For more than 130 years, the devoted women and men of the American Red Cross have responded to challenges at home and abroad with compassion and generosity. In times of conflict and great tragedy, they deliver humanitarian relief, save lives, and offer hope for a brighter tomorrow,” the proclamation reads. “Their service has meant so much to so many, and it reflects a fundamental American truth: we look out for one another and we do not leave anyone behind. This month, we renew our sense of common purpose and honor all those whose sacrifices have made our society more prepared, resilient, and united.” Read the entire proclamation here.
The Red Cross has a long-standing relationship with the White House dating back to 1913 and President Woodrow Wilson. In 1906 a largely ceremonial office of president was added to the Red Cross leadership. In 1913, President Wilson agreed to serve in this role. This began a tradition that continues today whereby the president of the United States serves as honorary chairman of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is not a government agency and does not receive a regular appropriation from Congress.
The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters every year. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills.
During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross is recognizing the country’s everyday heroes – heroes who reach out to help people in need. These are the people who –
- Help disaster victims get on the road to recovery.
- Give blood to help a hospital patient
- Brighten the day of an injured service member who is in a hospital far from home.
- Take one of our lifesaving classes and step forward to assist someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child.
Red Cross Month is a great time to become part of the Red Cross. You can work on a preparedness plan with members of your household so you are ready for emergencies. You can become a Red Cross volunteer. Or you can give blood or a financial donation.