Four Ways to Support the Red Cross During March

Josie Tong (center with dog) at the emergency Red Cross Center that was set up at Palisades High School during the Woolsey Fire in 2018.

Sotheby Realtor Josie Tong, who has been a board member of the American Red Cross LA Region since 2018, asked if Circling the News could share more information about “March Is Red Cross Month.”

“In a year overwhelmed by the pandemic, the American Red Cross L.A. Region partnered with LAUSD and distributed more than 40 million meals to students and their families, collected convalescent plasma from thousands of Covid-19 survivors to save the lives of other Covid patients, and sent more than 400 disaster workers to help the victims of the West Coast wildfire,” Tong said.

One of the most visible signs of the month will be the lighting on March 24 of the dolphin fountain in the Village Green, joining other local landmarks that will be lit including, the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel, Beverly Hills City Hall and SoFi stadium.

March has been Red Cross Month since 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “I request that during that month our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.” Since then, every U.S. President, including Joe Biden, has proclaimed March “Red Cross Month.”

During this month, the public is asked to donate blood, take a First Aid class, learn CPR or make a financial donation to the nonprofit. The month culminates on Wednesday, March 24 — American Red Cross Giving Day.

Tong, who started volunteering for the American Red Cross in 2008, reminds residents of the Woolsey Fire in November 2018, when a Red Cross shelter was set up at Palisades High School.

“I took a crash course on disaster operations the next evening and by 6 a.m. the following morning I was reporting to duty at the shelter. It was a day I would never forget – being with people who were forced to evacuate and not knowing if they would have a home to go back to,” Tong said. “Our town came together to help those in need. Neighbors stopped by all day offering food and donations and asking what they could do to help. A prominent local businessman stopped by as well. After the initial pleasantries, I found out his family had evacuated from their homes in Malibu and his mother’s home had already burned down. He picked up some baby supplies.”

Ways residents can take action this month include:

  1. Giving blood (especially those with type O), visit: redcrossblood.org; those who give blood, platelets or plasma through March 26 will receive a t-shirt.
  2. Host a blood drive, visit: redcross.or/BloodDriveHost for information.
  3. Volunteer. To see opportunities, visit: redcross.org/VolunteerToday. The nonprofit depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public.
  4. Donate financially, visit: redcross.org/GivingDay.

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