President honors volunteers during Red Cross Month

OSCEOLA COUNTY — People worldwide rely on humanitarian aid from the American Red Cross during times of great need. For 133 years, the American Red Cross has been a place where people mobilize to help their neighbors during emergencies and disasters. And each spring since 1942, starting with Franklin Roosevelt, the U.S. President acknowledges that role and encourages volunteerism and blood donation by proclaiming March as Red Cross Month.

“Wherever there’s a need, we’ll be there,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region. “That’s because our volunteers — like our neighbors — are across the street, across the country and around the world.”

More than 3.5 million people volunteered to give blood last year, and helped provide blood products for patients in about 3,000 U.S. hospitals and transfusion centers. In addition, more than 500,000 people a year volunteer nationwide through the American Red Cross. Those volunteers make a difference through Red Cross services associated with blood donation, disaster relief, health and safety training, support to military members and families, and international aid.

The Red Cross delivers humanitarian and community services through a network of community chapters, and collects blood through 36 Blood Regions. In the last year, these locally-supported chapters responded to nearly 70,000 disasters, while Blood Regions distributed about 9 million blood products. Internationally, the American Red Cross is part of a global network of more than 180 national societies, and helps more than 200 million people a year through disaster management and disease prevention activities.

There are many ways to become involved with the mission of the American Red Cross. To donate blood or find other opportunities contact the Red Cross at redcrossblood.org or 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The following is a list of blood drives in Osceola and Mecosta counties through April 16th:

  • From Noon to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19, at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital, located at 605 Oak St. in Big Rapids
  • From Noon to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, at the Ferris State University West Campus Community Center, 1414 Family Drive in Big Rapids
  • From Noon to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, at the Ferris State University West Campus Community Center, 1414 Family Drive in Big Rapids
  • From 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 9, at Pine River High School, located at 17445 Pine River School Road in LeRoy