East Hawaii News

March Kicks Off ‘Red Cross Month’

March 2, 2015, 7:08 AM HST
* Updated March 2, 7:09 AM
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Not only does March mean the beginning of Spring is near, but March means it’s time to celebrate “Red Cross Month.”

As an organization, the American Red Cross Hawai’i Chapter responded in 2014 to 96 disaster incidents in the state and assisted 152 families, a total of 469 individuals with basic and immediate necessities like food, clothing, and shelter. Last year the organization served 5,731 meals and snacks to disaster victims and emergency workers in the field and housed 2,616 people during evacuations. In addition to the hard work in taking care of those who have experienced tragic events, the Red Cross presented disaster information to 22,001 people and supported 12,672 military members and their families and also trained 13,222 people in lifesaving skills.

“In Hawai’i, we respond to disasters every 4 days, providing emergency assistance and emotional support to victims of every day disasters like house fires and floods,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO, Hawai’i Red Cross. “We also need to be prepared for major disasters and continually share critical preparedness information. In addition, we teach lifesaving skills such as CPR, first aid, babysitting, pet first aid, aquatics and nurse aide training; and provide emergency communications for military service members and their families. We want to thank everyone for their generosity, which has enabled us to help people here at home, across the United States, and around the world.”

Red Cross Month is a wonderful time for individuals to take part in the Red Cross mission of saving lives and giving hope to those in need.

The following ways are opportunities to get involved:

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Shop for a cause. Through March 11, the Red Cross is holding an online auction with everything from international hotel stays to gift certificates for dinning and shopping experiences. Bid online by visiting the Hawai’i Red Cross website.

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Take a class. A variety of courses are offered by the Red Cross, ranging from adult and pediatric fire aid and CPR, to pet first aid, nurse aide training, babysitting training, wilderness training, and more. Course can be found at the Red Cross website or by calling (800) 733-2767.

Get involved. The Red Cross is always looking for office volunteers, disaster volunteers and CPR instructors. Individuals interested in volunteering should visit the Hawai’i Red Cross website to register.

Be prepared. Families should be prepared with an emergency plan and seven days of emergency essential,s according to the Red Cross. The organization also has a fire aide mobile app, in addition to flood or hurricane apps that provide life-saving information during emergencies. Red Cross also has a pet first aid app that costs $0.99.

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Donate. The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. The help provided by the Red Cross is free to the disaster victims. Since the Red Cross is not a government agency, contributions from the public are vital. Donations provided assist the Red Cross with its life saving missions in local communities, across the country, and around the world.

Online donations can be made at the Hawai’i Red Cross website or by calling (808) 739-8109.

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