Celebrating help and hope

March is Red Cross Month and the American Red Cross is asking you to join us in providing help and hope to people in need.

The Red Cross works tirelessly to help those who need assistance, whether down the street, across the country, or around the world. We respond to disasters, help members of the military, provide blood for those in need and teach lifesaving skills.

When you help with a gift of your time, your blood donation or your financial gift, you join the Red Cross. We want to thank those supporters whose generosity helps ensure we are able to continue our service to those who need us. Thanks to them, the Red Cross is there when needed most.

In the past year, the Shelby County Red Cross served over 8,500 individuals — through disaster response, service to military and their families, and lifesaving training. You and your neighbors donated 1,216 units of blood. And Shelby County Red Cross volunteers donated over 3,839 hours of service.

When a family in your neighborhood needs refuge from a storm, an injured service member from your hometown is transported to a military hospital or a child down the street needs lifesaving blood, the American Red Cross is there, mobilizing a response and providing supplies that turn heartbreak into hope. But we can’t be there without your help.

Your donation can help transport that family to a dry shelter where they can feed their children and tuck them into bed with a warm blanket. Your donation can help provide comfort to your hometown hero, and communicate messages of love and hope to his or her family far away. And your donation can help save the life of that child down the street who is waiting for a blood transfusion.

Now is a great time for people to join the Red Cross. Give blood, or sign up to be one of our volunteers. Take one of our lifesaving training classes. Give a financial gift.

Please join us, and enable us to continue our work, both here at home, and around the world.

Mary Kinard is the executive director of the Shelby County Red Cross, which is a member of Shelby County VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster).