Letter to the Editor

Red Cross appreciates support

Sunday, March 16, 2008

To the editor:

As we celebrate March as American Red Cross Month, this is a great time to share a message of thanks. The American Red Cross expresses sincere gratitude to the community for its ongoing support of the Red Cross mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies.

Last year, as a result of your generous support, the Missouri-Illinois blood services region distributed 300,000 blood and blood products to 78 local hospitals, while the Southeast Missouri chapter touched the community nearly 13,000 times through diverse programs and services. The Red Cross is not a government agency. We depend on regular financial and blood donors to deliver humanitarian assistance in a time of need. The Red Cross is able to save lives because of you.

Because of you, a mother and her children receive immediate assistance with food, shelter and emergency supplies after losing their home to fire. A deployed military service member receives an emergency message regarding the birth of a son or daughter. A co-worker is equipped to intervene during a medical emergency to administer the CPR and first aid necessary to save the life of a colleague. A child learns to swim, and a teenager is trained as a lifeguard to uphold the highest standards of water safety.

Because of you, a cancer patient receives the blood products that sustain him through treatment. A Holocaust survivor gets long-awaited information regarding her missing loved ones. High school students learn the importance of the Geneva Conventions, developing a newfound respect for human rights. A business learns how to prepare for continuity of operations in time of disaster. Community groups receive potentially lifesaving information designed to protect them from the devastation of HIV/AIDS. And local teens learn valuable leadership skills through Junior American Red Cross.

Each example of community outreach is a gift to those who receive it, a gift made possible by each of you. For this, we are thankful for all of you.

CHERYL L. KLUEPPEL, Executive director, Southeast Missouri Chapter

DAVID A CHUMLEY, CEO, Missouri-Illinois Blood Services Region

American Red Cross, Cape Girardeau