During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes the nation’s Every Day Heroes who give of themselves and in some way help their community.

“Please remember those who help all of us here in New Jersey by giving their time to help their neighbor,” said Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “We want to thank our heroes during Red Cross Month – our volunteers, blood donors, class takers and financial supporters who help us assist those in need. This includes the thousands of volunteers and supporters from across the country and around the world who helped the people of New Jersey in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and continue to assist with recovery efforts,”
March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month 70 years ago by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since 1943, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross is synonymous with helping people, and has been doing so for more than 130 years.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in this country, providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains more than seven million people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills every year.

In New Jersey, the American Red Cross North Jersey Region responded to 419 local emergencies such as home fires, assisted 884 military families and trained 143,000 people in lifesaving skills. And, people from the area donated 28,500 units of blood.
“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross and there are many different ways to do it,” Nelessen said. “They can develop a preparedness plan for their household, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or take a Red Cross class, just to name a few.”
The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. An average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is invested in helping people in need.
The American Red Cross North Jersey Region has activities planned throughout Red Cross Month, including:
3/16      Scavenger Hunt at the Microsoft Store in Bridgewater
Open to the public. The Red Cross Youth Council and Microsoft are teaming up to hold a preparedness scavenger hunt from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. inside the Microsoft Store, Bridgewater Commons Mall, 400 Commons Drive. Elementary and middle school students are invited to visit the store where they will be paired with a Red Cross Youth Council member to participate in the scavenger hunt. Clues will be hidden within the Microsoft devices and students will need to explore the new technology to gather their preparedness facts. In addition, Youth Council members will have a Red Cross preparedness education table available inside the Bridgewater Mall from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
3/20      Mayors for Meals Day in Mercer County
As a show of support for the community’s seniors, mayors in Mercer County join volunteers to deliver meals to Red Cross Home Delivered Meals clients.
3/21      Be Red Cross Ready and Open House in Somerville
Open to the public. The free, one-hour disaster preparedness presentation is being offered during an Open House at the Red Cross, 14 West Cliff Street in Somerville, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. To register for the 6:30 p.m. Be Red Cross Ready presentation, contact Suzanne Anderson at Suzanne.Anderson@redcross.org or call 908-725-2217 x222.
3/21      New Jersey Crossroads Chapter Receives Award in Summit
The Suburban Chamber of Commerce will honor the American Red Cross New Jersey Crossroads chapter as 2013 Public Service Organization during their Annual Service Awards Dinner at the Grand Summit Hotel.
3/21      Red Cross Day at the State House in Trenton
Red Cross leadership and volunteers highlight the work of the organization and offer preparedness and safety information.
3/23      The Scouts of Nutley Food Drive in Nutley
As part of the Feinstein Hunger Challenge, an annual campaign to end hunger in America, Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops hold a town-wide food drive to benefit the Red Cross Food Pantry in Nutley.
March   Dine Out Campaign in Newton
Several area restaurants celebrate March is Red Cross Month by donating a percentage of sales to the Red Cross on various dates throughout the month.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org.