Sloan Column: March is American Red Cross Month
For nearly 80 years, March has been observed as American Red Cross Month. It is during this particular month that we honor the humanitarian spirit of the organization and encourage the community to support the Red Cross in whatever way they can.
In the simplest of terms, your contribution to the Red Cross could be used to save your own life or the life of someone you love.
In a national press release, American Red Cross officials stated that last year more than 70,000 people across the country became new Red Cross volunteers. The Red Cross offered assistance to hundreds of thousands of people affected by natural disasters as well as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The best way to show your appreciation to the Red Cross for its invaluable efforts is to give back. Here are some ways you can do just that:
Donate: Support the American Red Cross financially. The organization says a gift of any size makes a difference to provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance.
Volunteer: Volunteers are the heart of the American Red Cross. Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the Red Cross mission. Did you know that 96 percent of the Red Cross team consists of volunteers?
Red Cross volunteers perform such critical services as helping victims of fires, floods, storms and other disasters; staffing blood drives; serving as a Red Cross representative at community events; supporting members of the military; and providing lifesaving training in CPR and water safety. Others help the organization with office and administrative work.
Give blood: Feeling healthy and well? Make an appointment to give blood. The American Red Cross says even a single donation can make a lifesaving difference for a patient in need. Those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma from March 15 through March 26 will receive a Red Cross t-shirt (while supplies last).
The need for blood donations is constant. There is no substitute for blood, which has a limited shelf life; most donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection. It’s not just used to treat those undergoing surgery or injured in an accident, either. Cancer patients, patients with blood disorders, burn victims and others need blood donations to survive.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and more than 38,000 blood donations are needed every day, the American Red Cross says.
The American Red Cross supplies blood to 54 hospitals in South Carolina. To ensure all hospitals have an adequate supply of blood, it must collect 500 units of blood per day.
The two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are that they “never thought about it” and they “don’t like needles.” By the same token, the people who must receive blood transfusions never expected to need them and, by and large, don’t enjoy being stuck with needles, either.
Following are a list of planned blood drives in the Pee Dee Region for the remainder of the month of March.
915 Chesterfield Highway, Cheraw
1:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Florence First Presbyterian
700 Park Ave
1 to 6 p.m.
1700 Rutherford Dr.
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you are eligible to give blood, we urge you to consider making a donation.
Visit www.redcross.org to schedule an appointment to donate blood or find out more information on how to contribute financially or to volunteer.