President Barack Obama has proclaimed March as Red Cross Month across the United States, a tradition begun by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943.
“During American Red Cross Month, we honor those who devote themselves to bringing relief where there is suffering, inspiring hope where there is despair, and healing the wounds of disaster and war,” the proclamation reads. “Today, American Red Cross workers, alongside countless humanitarian organizations and caring volunteers, deliver life-saving assistance in every corner of our Nation and all across the globe.”
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 big and small in this country every year. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations 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 -
Red Cross Month is a great time to become part of the Red Cross. And it’s easy to do. You can gather members of your household and work on a preparedness plan so you are ready for emergencies. You can become a Red Cross volunteer. Or you can give blood or a financial donation.