March is Red Cross Month

Since May of 1881, the American Red Cross has been a part of the lives of Americans, both those in need and those who wish to volunteer. In the past 135 years the Red Cross has had thousands of everyday heroes join it’s organization. It is because of that that in 1943 President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared March to be Red Cross Month, a tradition that has been passed down and continued by every President of the United States.


Red Cross volunteers are our everyday heroes. They are those who give life-saving blood for patients in need. They are those who the life saving skills taught in a Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid class to save the life of someone else. They are those who give assistance to people who have been affected by a disaster. They are those who actively seek to support our service men and women and their families. They are those who install smoke alarms in homes where there are none. They are those whose contributions to their community should not go unnoticed. Red Cross Month is about making sure we recognize these everyday Heroes.


The enthusiasm Red Cross Volunteers have for helping others in need is what makes the Red Cross such a great organization to work with. Everyone is working toward a shared goal: to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

This Red Cross month is the perfect time to become a Red Cross Volunteer. Please visit this website to learn about our volunteer opportunities or to become one of our everyday heroes. Or join our Home Fire Campaign



Five Lives Saved In Quincy

Home fires kill more people in an average year than every other domestic natural disaster combined. On average, seven people die every day from a home fire and 36 people suffer injuries.
To combat this problem, the American Red Cross introduced the Home Fire Campaign, a multi-year initiative to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the end of 2019.
As part of the Home Fire Campaign, the Red Cross in collaboration with local fire departments and other community groups does community outreach – visiting homes to install free smoke alarms, replace smoke alarm batteries and help residents make home fire escape plans. To date, almost 240,000 smoke alarms have been installed nationally, including more than 2,200 installed in the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region.
Recently, as part of the Home Fire Campaign, volunteers installed free smoke alarms in the home of a young family of five in Quincy, Illinois. The volunteers helped the family to create a home fire escape plan and encouraged the family to regularly check the smoke alarms and practice their home escape plan.
Home Fire Campaign 2016
 Photo by Dennis Drenner for the American Red Cross
In January, the shrill sound of those newly installed smoke alarms alerted the family to a furnace fire in their home. The family was able to quickly evacuate and gather in their designated  meeting place outside of the home. Once outside of the home, the family called 9-1-1 and thanks to the fire department’s quick response, there was no major damage to the home.
Having smoke alarms and practicing an escape plan saved five lives – an entire family and their home. Imagine that – five lives saved because people cared.
The family shared their thoughts following the fire, “We were all home during the time of the fire. We heard the smoke alarms go off, and immediately got winter clothes on (because of the cold weather) and exited the home. We then called 911 and my kids went to the neighbor’s house. The fire department arrived and went into the house and put out the fire. It was a furnace fire. When I called 9-1-1, they told me to stay outside, which I did. When the fire department arrived, they shut off the power to the house and inspected the furnace. I guess there was something in the furnace that was burning and causing smoke, and if the smoke alarms didn’t go off . . . I believe it would have kept burning and caught the whole house on fire. Now, because of the extra warning and turning off the furnace before it could fully catch fire, we were able to move back in as soon as the furnace was repaired.”
Nationally, the Home Fire Campaign has saved 69 lives and we are grateful that five of those lives saved were from the Central and Southern Illinois Region.