The New River Valley Red Cross was chartered in 1917 in each county, and encompasses a vast mountain region spreading over the City of Radford, Bland, Floyd, Giles, Montgomery and Pulaski counties. It is one small yet effective element of the American Red Cross, which is part of the global Red Cross network with 187 branches around the world.
In 2012, the Red Cross in the NRV assisted 22 families in disaster response, conducted 555 disaster preparedness presentations and instructed 4,826 people in lifesaving skills. The agency provided assistance in more than 100 instances to military families and more than 670 services to the community at large. Some 180,000 people in the local population have been touched by the Red Cross.
Legions of volunteers run a variety of service programs. Service to Armed Forces began when chapters formed to support war relief efforts and help displaced troops and families as early as the Spanish-American War in 1898. Blood Services started in the 1940s, and today the American Red Cross supplies more than half of blood products in the United States. Related programs such as Disaster Services, Health and Safety Training, and International Services and Messaging offer assistance locally and overseas.
Every two seconds in the United States, someone needs blood. That’s around 40,000 donations daily, with 80 percent of donations received at mobile blood stations. These can be found at community organizations, workplaces, high schools, universities, places of worship and military installations. The American Red Cross works alongside more than 50,000 blood drive patrons each year to hold more than 200,000 drives annually enabling people to give blood at a variety of local and regional locations.
“Blood is something that people can give easily and readily unlike large sums of money, which is a rarity for students and non-students alike,” says a Radford University student donor who wishes to remain unidentified. “I give blood because I have O positive blood, which means that I can donate blood to anyone who has a positive blood type. I see it as a way to help people who have a real need.”
To donate blood locally, schedule an appointment at the New River Valley Donor Center in Blacksburg. To find a local blood drive in the New River Valley or to arrange an appointment in the donor center in Blacksburg, go to www.redcrossblood.org and click “Make a Blood Donation Appointment” on the right hand side. To learn more about Red Cross events and programs and how you can participate, visit the NRV Red Cross office at 616-A W. Main St. in Radford.
There is something for everyone to give ~ blood, time, energy, money or disaster relief help to any of the myriad projects the agency provides in the New River Valley. Whether one person, one family, one town, one community or an entire region, the Red Cross stands ready to serve.
By Mari Kiyota♦ End