July 1, 2016

Partly cloudy

Thanks for giving

During this holiday season, it’s important for the Red Cross to say thank you to the Medina County community. The services we deliver in this community would never be possible without the involvement of so many people who volunteer their time and generously share their treasure, and who are even willing to give blood.

This year, Red Cross volunteers donated more than 100,000 hours in our community, helping and comforting people during their time of need. Nationwide, volunteers make up 97 percent of the American Red Cross workforce, allowing the Red Cross to operate with great efficiency.

However, we couldn’t do it without the local companies who sponsor fundraising events, use Red Cross CPR and first aid training, and sponsor blood drives. We thank them all, as well as our fellow nonprofits and the government agencies we work with all year round to make this a safer place to live.

Others join us in that gratitude. Think of the families helped by the Medina County chapter when three local house fires in November and December occurred. How do you feed your children when something like this happens? Where do you sleep? Where do you go?

You can go to the Red Cross. Did you know that last year the chapter helped more than 50 victims of 14 disasters? They were able to find comfort and relief in one of their greatest times of need. Most local disasters are single family house fires, but this year we also helped a family that experienced a flood.

We can only keep our promise to help our neighbors and provide these essential services because of people like you.

You are very precious to the Red Cross right now. Your support is appreciated by the military families that have turned to the chapter to get urgent messages about deaths and serious illnesses, as well as happy news like the birth of a baby, to loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. You are appreciated by more than 3,000 local residents who gained swimming and water safety skills, thanks to the Medina County chapter and your support.

And just think of the numbers of lives that may be saved some day by the 1,750 people who learned lifesaving skills like first aid, CPR, or the use of the automated external defibrillators last year, thanks to you and the Medina County chapter.

Right now, we are trying to save additional lives by training people to Be Red Cross Ready for disasters.

With your gift, you are part of a network of millions of Americans who donate their time, money and blood to the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. Such generosity enables the Red Cross to spend, on average, 91 cents of every dollar directly on humanitarian services.

My message to you is simple: thanks for giving. Thanks for giving our Red Cross chapter the support we need to help empower people with the confidence, training and ability to save lives.

Kilchenman may be reached at 330-723-4565.