How you can be an everyday hero, too

March is American Red Cross Month, and it’s a good time to honor the everyday heroes who help in our communities.

The American Red Cross has, in its more than a century of existence, come to the aid of thousands upon thousands of people. And, yes, there are thousands of Red Cross administrators and volunteers across the nation and the world who have saved the day time and time again in so many ways following disasters and emergencies.

For example, the Red Cross responded to a house fire in Fostoria March 3, providing aid and comfort to family members driven from their home.

Fortunately, behind the victims of disasters stand the people of the Red Cross. Long known for its blood drives and being on the scene of man-made or natural disasters, the American Red Cross has been steadfast in its mission to provide for victims in need.

Last year, the Hancock County Chapter provided relief to more than 400 people affected by disaster, helped more than 400 military families and trained thousands of people in lifesaving skills. Plus, 16 local Red Cross volunteers also assisted in relief efforts across the country, traveling to Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana to help following Hurricane Isaac and to New Jersey and New York to aid those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

“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,” said Todd James, executive director of the American Red Cross of Hancock, Seneca and Wyandot counties], “These everyday heroes help to create hope at a time of disaster, provide lifesaving blood, support and comfort members of the armed forces and their families, and react with skilled training when needed.”

But the Red Cross helps in other ways many may not be aware of. It works with the military to relay messages about family illnesses, deaths, births and other emergencies, and the organization offers health and safety programs, including adult, infant and children cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid instruction as well as lifeguard training.

“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,” James 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.” To sign up, call (419) 422-9322 or visit