One year of COVID-19: Americans continue stepping up to address urgent needs

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From the American Red Cross:

BINGHAMTON, NY — In the year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, tens of thousands of Americans have stepped up to address the needs of those reeling from the pandemic as well as record-breaking disasters across the country. Americans experienced more billion-dollar disasters in 2020 than any other year on record, and for many, the pandemic compounded the trauma and financial strain of disasters: struggling families needed help quickly and faced more hurdles to recover, as increased anxiety exacerbated many health and mental health needs. “The past year has been overwhelming for many in our community, and yet through it all, people are caring for one another,” said Red Cross Western NY Regional CEO, Alan H. Turner II. “When help can’t wait, they provide families with the support they need during emergencies. During Red Cross Month in March, we honor this humanitarian spirit and ask you to join us by donating, giving blood, volunteering or taking a class to learn lifesaving skills.” 

WHAT IS RED CROSS MONTH For nearly 80 years, U.S. presidents have proclaimed March as Red Cross Month to recognize Americans participating in its lifesaving mission — one that is powered by a workforce that is made up of 90% volunteers. 2021 KICKS OFF WITH SEVERE WEATHER So far this year, Red Cross volunteers have provided emergency shelter, food and other assistance following disasters like tornadoes and February’s record onslaught of winter storms, which blanketed some 70% of the continental U.S. with snow, ice and historically low temperatures. The severe winter weather forced the cancellation of Red Cross blood drives in more than 30 states, impacting more than 20,000 blood, platelet and convalescent plasma donations in February.  HOW TO HELP You can help ensure that families don’t face emergencies alone — especially during a pandemic: 

  • DONATE: Support our Disaster Relief efforts at redcross.org/GivingDay. A gift of any size makes a difference to provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance. Your donation will be part of our annual Giving Day on March 24 to aid families in need across the country.
  • VOLUNTEER: Visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday for most-needed positions and local opportunities.
  • GIVE BLOOD: If you’re healthy and feeling well, make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org. As a thank-you, all presenting donors during the month of March in Broome county will receive a $5 Mirabito Gift Card (non-transferrable and not redeemable for cash). In addition, all who come to give blood, platelets or plasma on March 15-26 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
  • LEARN LIFESAVING SKILLS: Take a class in skills like CPR and first aid to help in an emergency at redcross.org/TakeAClass. Online options include our Psychological First Aid for COVID-19 course, which covers how to manage stress and support yourself and others.

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