Last updated: March 01. 2014 4:46PM - 493 Views
By - lmihm@civitasmedia.com

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OTTAWA — Red Cross Putnam County Chapter Director Michelle Williams said Red Cross Month is a time to recognize volunteers for everything they do in their communities.

“Our heroes are our volunteers, our blood donors, people who take our classes or those who make a financial contribution to help us help others,” Williams said.

Red Cross Month is designated annually in the month nationally. For more than 70 years, U.S. presidents officially designate the month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and across the world.

“It is all a part of being a humanitarian,” Williams said. “To recognize our mission and what we have been doing for many, many years, it is important to recognize the volunteers.”

The Red Cross responded to nearly 70,000 disasters varying in size last year. In the Putnam County area, it responded to 37 local emergencies, assisted 24 military families and trained 335 people in life-saving skills such as CPR, first aid, water safety and automated external defibrillator classes. In addition, 1,039 units of blood were collected.

“The Red Cross collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply,” Williams said. “During Red Cross Month we thank our volunteers and encourage everyone to discover their inner hero by giving time to help people in their community.”

Williams said the Putnam County Chapter plans to have a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. March 21 at Henry’s as part of celebrating Red Cross Month. Dinners will be $8. Also a spaghetti-eating contest will be held with representatives from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the Ottawa Fire and Police departments. Other events will include blood drives, baby-sitting classes and CPR/first aid/AED classes throughout the month.

“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross,” Williams said. “They can become a volunteer, work on a preparedness plan for their household, give blood or take a class.”

Williams said 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need. She said that is possible because of people being willing to volunteer.

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