March is American Red Cross month

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anania Tekurio
  • 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
Founded by Clara Barton in 1881, the American Red Cross has been providing relief and aid to victims of crisis and natural disasters all around the world. In an effort to honor this organization, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the month of March as Red Cross month in 1943.

With more than 600 locally supported chapters across the nation, the American Red Cross has been helping individuals and families prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies while also providing disaster relief assistance to those affected by natural and human-caused disasters. In addition, the American Red Cross provides emergency communications between those in the armed forces and their families.

"We work closely with the Airman and Family Readiness Center on Ellsworth Air Force Base," said Dan Kuecker, American Red Cross Regional Emergency Services director.

The American Red Cross is not a government agency and is therefore supported by donations of time, money and blood to do its work. More than half a million volunteers and 30,000 employees are part of the American Red Cross globally. "Military volunteers are highly desired because they are able to stay focused in high stress situations."

Since 1917, the Black Hills Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, covering 38,000 square miles including four Native American Reservations, has been assisting individuals recovering from home fires, flooding, wildfires and other disasters. This year, the Black Hills Area Chapter responded to 91 home fires and deployed volunteers and equipment to Alabama, North Dakota and Pierre, S.D.

The Black Hills area chapter also helped 162 military families send emergency messages and briefed 1,470 individuals facing deployment on how to access Red Cross services anywhere in the world.

The help and services the American Red Cross provides to humanity all throughout the world would not be possible without the dedicated work of volunteers, according to Kuecker. In support of American Red Cross month, you can help make the Red Cross stronger and better by contacting the local chapter and volunteering.

For more information about the Black Hills Chapter of the American Red Cross, call (605) 342-4010, or visit: