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Red Cross impacts communities around world

1 Nov 2013 | Lance Cpl. Alejandro Bedoya

 The mission of the American Red Cross is to provide care to those in need. The Red Cross is supported by people who donate, volunteers, and employees who all share the same mission.

Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of responding to disasters. They work in partnership with other agencies and organizations to provide services to victims. They offer five key types of services to people in the United States and around the world.

“We are here to help people in any type of struggle,” said Michael Wolfe, station manager, American Red Cross, Combat Center station. “We are a program made up of donations and 97 percent of us are volunteers all wanting to complete the same mission.”

Disaster Relief

According to their website, the Red Cross supports approximately 70,000 disasters in the United States. They respond to disasters ranging from home fires that affect a single family to hurricanes that affect many more people. When they respond to these types of things, they provide shelter, food, health and mental health services to help the community get back on their feet.

Supporting the Military

“Most family emergencies are usually time critical,” said Capt. Shannon Mawson, company commander, Company A, Headquarters Battalion. ”Swift and sensitive action on emergency leave requests is essential.”

The Red Cross helps service members and their families cope with the challenges of serving in the military. Emergency communication is one thing provided to service members by the Red Cross in case of an emergency with the service member or their family.

“Emergency Leave does not mandate a Red Cross Message,” Mawson said. “However, a Red Cross Message provides verification of the emergency. Most Marines are mature and responsible individuals whose emergency leave needs can be considered on their merits.”

The Red Cross also provides things like training, support to wounded warriors, veterans and access to community resources. According to their website, these resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually.

Blood Saves Lives

The American Red Cross is the largest single supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, according to their website. Nearly four million people donate blood through the Red Cross, helping to provide more than forty percent of America’s blood supply.

Health and Safety Training

The American Red Cross is also the leading provider of health and safety courses. Some of the courses provided by them are Cardiovascular Pulmonary Resuscitation, first aid and lifeguard training. According to their website, more than nine million Americans participate in their training programs each year. Some of the people participating in these courses are first responders, educators and babysitters.

International Services

According to their website, The American Red Cross is part of the world’s largest humanitarian network with 13 million volunteers in 187 different countries. They help respond to disasters, build safer communities and educate future humanitarians all around the world. The Red Cross reaches an average of more than 100 million people across the globe.

“This program plays a huge role in society,” Wolfe said. “These volunteers and donations make a huge difference to our country and the world.”

To support the American Red Cross you may donate, fund-raise, give blood, teach a class, volunteer, help internationally or become an advocate. For any questions about the Red Cross, call (760) 830-6685 or visit www.redcross.org.


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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms