NEWARK, NJ - The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the American Red Cross during a presentation held at the South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) in South Orange, New Jersey.

District 4 Freeholder Leonard M. Luciano and President of the Board, Freeholder At-Large Brendan W. Gill, presented a Commendation to Jocelyn Gilman, Executive Director of American Red Cross Northern New Jersey Division, declaring March 2018 as “American Red Cross Month” in Essex County. During the presentation, which was sponsored by acclamation, the Freeholders recognized the volunteers, employees, and Ms. Gilman for the organization’s service to communities throughout Essex. 

March is a special time to recognize and thank the Red Cross volunteers and donors who give of their time and resources to help members of the community, and the American Red Cross Northern New Jersey office in Fairfield has played a major part in aiding Essex County residents.

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In New Jersey, the Red Cross has a long history of helping neighbors in need, particularly following Hurricane Sandy and many other unfortunate disasters. The American Red Cross New Jersey Region responded to more than 820 local disasters last year and assisted nearly 1,900 New Jersey families who were displaced by home fires. They installed 10,600 free smoke alarms and reached thousands with fire safety information through the Home Fire Campaign. 

In New Jersey, the Red Cross provides an average of 4,000 military families with case services every year and collects an average of 90,000 units of blood from generous donors. The Red Cross depends on these local heroes to deliver help and hope during a disaster. 

Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross responds to community disasters big and small. It collects about 40% of the nation’s blood supply, provides 24-hour support to military members, veterans, and their families, and teaches lifesaving skills, such as lifeguarding and CPR, to millions of individuals. Through its Restoring Family Links program, the organization connects family members separated by crisis, conflict, or migration in addition to facilitating the distribution of measles and rubella vaccinations of children around the world.

The Northern New Jersey Division serves a population of 3 million people in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, and Sussex Counties and works diligently to help when disaster strikes. The American Red Cross has aided a myriad of families throughout Essex County, and the Board is proud to commemorate and proclaim March 2018 as “American Red Cross Month in Essex County.