Health: March is ‘Red Cross Month’

By Judy Mattingly/Health Dept. Published:

The Franklin County Public Health System consists of many individuals and entities that work to improve and protect the health of our community. One of those agencies is our local chapter of the American Red Cross.

The president has proclaimed March “Red Cross Month” every year since 1943. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to make this proclamation saying, “I request that during that month (March) our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.”

This year President Barack Obama said, “I encourage all Americans to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities, and by supporting the work of service and relief organizations.”

Red Cross Day at the Capitol, at 11 a.m. Wednesday, will be a local celebration of Red Cross Month. For more information you can contact the Franklin County Red Cross at 502-223-1795 or e-mail

Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881. The Red Cross now has five key service areas. Disaster relief efforts include responding to home fires, floods, hurricanes and earthquakes. During disasters such as these the Red Cross provides shelter, food, health and mental services.

The Red Cross also provides support to America’s military families. It ensures emergency communications, training and access to community services for wounded warriors and veterans.

The American Red Cross is the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States, providing more than 40 percent of America’s blood supply.

Health and Safety Services are another key focus of the Red Cross.  The organization is the nation’s leading provider of courses such as CPR, First Aid and Lifeguard training.

International services provided by the American Red Cross include disaster response, helping to build safer communities and educating future humanitarians. The Red Cross is the world’s largest humanitarian network, working in 187 countries.

In the month of February alone our local Red Cross chapter responded to three disasters, conducted two disaster service classes, provided 26 services to the armed forces, made 40 referrals to other agencies, taught six health and safety classes and collected 396 units of blood in Anderson, Franklin and Woodford counties. This was accomplished with the help of 92 volunteers who donated 764.50 hours of their time.

There are many ways that you can show your support for the American Red Cross. You can donate and fundraise, you can give blood, you can take a lifesaving skills class, you can volunteer or you can be an advocate.  For more information visit

The schedule of weekly events at the local chapter appears elsewhere on this page.

Judy Mattingly holds a Master of Arts in Health Communication degree and is the accreditation coordinator at the Franklin County Health Department, 100 Glenns Creek Road.

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