March is Red Cross Month, and the American Red Cross asks people to be a hero for families in Indiana by becoming a volunteer, learning lifesaving skills, giving blood or donating to #help1family on Red Cross Giving Day, March 27.

“During Red Cross Month, we are proud to recognize our volunteers who provide hope and urgent relief to families in need every day,” said Chad Priest, CEO for the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “These heroes are our neighbors who give blood, save lives with skills like first aid and CPR, or provide care and comfort to families devastated by crises like home fires. We honor our volunteers and ask you to join them and make a difference.”

More than 75 years ago, March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to raise awareness of the organization and its humanitarian mission. All U.S. presidents since Roosevelt have designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the American Red Cross helps people across the country and around the world through its workforce powered by more than 90 percent volunteers.

EVERY DAY, VOLUNTEERS HELP Every eight minutes in the U.S., the Red Cross connects with a family who has lost everything to a home fire or other disaster—the roof over their heads, their clothes, their most cherished possessions. Last year, Red Cross volunteers helped millions of people reeling from a second consecutive year of record wildfires, hurricanes, tragic shootings and other large disasters across the country. Trained Indiana volunteers responded to those disasters, as well as to local disasters in our state, such as the recent polar vortex and last spring’s flooding across Northern Indiana. In fact, the response and resiliency work of our volunteers helped more than 900 Indiana families last year.

Home fires continue to upend lives, especially in winter, when there is often an increased risk of home heating and cooking fires. Since the inception of our Home Fire Campaign in 2014, in Indiana alone, local volunteers installed more than 44,000 new smoke alarms, created more than 18,000 emergency escape plans, and saved at least 17 lives.

HOW YOU CAN #HELP1FAMILY Learn more about how you can help by visiting redcross.org/indiana.

Become a volunteer: Help families affected by disasters and install lifesaving smoke alarms to keep neighbors safe from home fires. In some areas, you can also provide emergency assistance for military members and veterans, or help reconnect families separated by international conflict.

Give blood: Make an appointment to donate lifesaving blood or platelets.

Learn lifesaving skills: Register for a class to learn first aid, CPR and other skills.

Make a financial donation: On March 27—American Red Cross Giving Day—donate at redcross.org/givingday, uniting with thousands of people like you to help families during the first devastating hours of a disaster. Your gift can provide hope and urgent relief, such as food, shelter and other essentials, for families who need it most.