Red Cross Month honors community heroes


DAYTON — The American Red Cross Central & Southern Ohio Region this week is kicking off its annual Red Cross Month celebration in March to honor local community heroes who help ensure their neighbors never face crises alone.

Red Cross Month is a national tradition that began in March 1943 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation — and each U.S. president has followed ever since. Governor Mike DeWine has declared March as Red Cross Month in Ohio with an official proclamation.

“During Red Cross Month, we are proud to honor the people in our community who step up to support one another during emergencies when help can’t wait emergencies,” said Stephanie Byrd, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross Central & Southern Ohio Region. “This relief wouldn’t be possible without these local heroes. Please consider joining in their commitment by donating, volunteering, giving blood or platelets, or taking a lifesaving skills course.”

Join the Red Cross Month celebration by visiting to make a financial donation, give blood or platelets, become a volunteer or take a lifesaving skills course. Those who donate at on March 27 will be part of the 10th annual Red Cross Giving Day, which aims to rally 30,000 supporters nationwide to help provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance for people affected by disasters big and small.

As the final weeks of winter approach, the public is urged to book a time to donate blood or platelets now as we continue to strengthen the blood supply heading into spring. Much like pets provide comfort and support, so does the Red Cross in local communities. As a thank-you for providing comfort during Red Cross Month, all who come to give blood or platelets March 1-24 will get a $10 e-gift card to a pet supply merchant of choice, plus automatically be entered for a chance to win a $3,000 gift card. There will be five winners. See for details.

HELP CAN’T WAIT WHEN EMERGENCIES STRIKE Volunteers comprise 90% of the national Red Cross workforce to power its lifesaving mission, along with generous blood, platelet and financial donors; people trained in skills like first aid and CPR; and other supporters. Below are some of the ways that people from all over the region have delivered relief with the Red Cross in times of crisis:

Lawanda Banks from our Cincinnati chapter volunteered in Maui during the wildfires in 2023 – she wrote a first-hand account of her time there you can read here.

Jena Reif made the decision to become a blood donor after he daughter was diagnosed with cancer and she knew that her donations could help her daughter and others.

For more stories on how our volunteers impacted their communities, from installing smoke alarms, responding to house fires and many other stories check out our 2023 year in review.

JOIN A REWARDING DAY OF GIVING BACK Home fires are the most frequent disaster response for the Red Cross, which is also working to help families stay safe by installing free smoke alarms during its Sound the Alarm home fire safety campaign. Volunteers are needed for events all throughout the region from April 13 to May 4 — to learn more about the campaign and register for an event please visit our regional Sound the Alarm hub.

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