“I request that during that month (March) our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.”–President Franklin D. Roosevelt, first Presidential Proclamation of March as Red Cross Month, 1943
Each year the president of the United States proclaims March “Red Cross Month.” The Red Cross uses this opportunity to thank our supporters, increase public awareness and consideration of Red Cross’ mission and drive contributions.
The City of Philadelphia kicked off the month by flying Red Cross flags around City Hall. They were a beautiful site to see.
While four back to back nor’easters were an unplanned surprise for March is Red Cross Month, the staff and volunteer of Red Cross Eastern PA were prepared. We opened and supported more than half a dozen shelters and warming centers for more than 700 people affected by winter weather.
Even with the bad weather and shelter openings, our volunteers continued to respond to the Red Cross’ most common emergency, home fires. Red Cross of Eastern PA volunteers responded to more than 100 emergencies and home fires during the month of March, assisting more than 450 people. We worked with the Philadelphia Fire Department to install smoke alarms and talk fire safety at three different neighborhoods where fatal fires occurred.
Daylight Saving Time began and people lost an hour of sleep by turning the clocks forward. The Red Cross encouraged people to “Turn and Test” – Turn the clocks and test your smoke alarm.
The Harlem Globetrotters named the Red Cross their “official charity” and we had the opportunity to raise funds and engage our volunteers at nearly 300 performances across the country. Our volunteers “passed the bucket” to collect donations from those attending games in Reading, Allentown, Philadelphia, and Wilkes-Barre.
The Lehigh Valley-Bucks chapter gave a sneak peak of the upcoming 2018 Cabaret and Cuisine: Back to the 80s. Doc Brown even showed up to encourage people to attend the event held Friday April 20th at Olympus Headquarters in Center Valley.
The Northeast chapter honored 19 local heroes at the NEPA Heroes celebration. The evening celebrated the prior year’s local heroes for using their First Aid, CPR, AED training and/or other actions to save lives or make Northeastern PA a better place to live and work.
The Southeastern chapter hosted Philadelphia’s premier party and best black-tie charity gala, Red Ball. The evening was a big success with more than eleven hundred guests enjoying live entertainment, delicious delight from more than two dozen restaurants, a silent auction and much more at Lincoln Financial Field.
Red Cross Month wrapped up with Giving Day on March 28th. The Red Cross geared up for the big day, asking people to #help1family. Thousands responded and more than two million dollars was raised to help 28,000 families with urgent relief like food, shelter, and other essentials.
It certainly was a busy month and that’s how we know we are fulfilling the mission of the Red Cross.