By: Judith Weeks

March 8 is International Women’s Day, and what better day to celebrate the heroic women volunteers of the American Red Cross?

Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1900, and her life’s work has laid the foundation of the organization we serve today. Barton was a hero of the American Civil War, bringing supplies, food, and clothing to wounded and sick men on the battlefront, who called her “Angel of the Battlefield.” Of her own work, she wrote “I always tried to bring help and comfort. I could run the risk. It made no difference to anyone if I were shot and taken prisoner.” Clara Baron’s humanitarian efforts have inspired women volunteers ever since.

From World War II to Korea to Vietnam, women volunteers of the American Red Cross have brought comfort to soldiers in battle. During World War II, the Red Cross “Clubmobiles” traveled throughout Great Britain and Europe and were staffed by volunteers known as “Donut Dollies.” They brought a “taste of home,” water, coffee, and food to troops. These women were on the front lines, as was Clara Barton.

Today, women Red Cross volunteers carry on the work of Clara Barton by bringing comfort, food, and shelter to people who have been touched by disaster. They believe in her legacy, equal rights, and helping all people in need, regardless of race, gender, or economic situation. And they are proud to be members of the largest humanitarian organization in the world.

Main image description: a quote graphic featuring American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, seated in a black and white photograph. The Red Cross logo appears in the left-hand side. To the right of her picture is this quote, in white letters on a blue background: “I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.”

By: Marta Rusek

March is Red Cross Month, and this week we’re celebrating volunteers! More than 90% of the Red Cross’ lifesaving work is powered by volunteers, many of whom decided to do this work because someone they knew was a volunteer, or they read about the perks of volunteering in an article (like this one!).

If you’re a student looking for life experience, a retiree looking for meaningful work, or someone who just wants to pay it forward through good deeds, the American Red Cross is one of the best volunteer opportunities around. Here’s why:

You become a better leader. Many different personalities and skill types come together in the volunteer force at the Red Cross, so you will learn very quickly how to identify your fellow volunteer’s strengths and discover what motivates them. Also, you become more organized than you ever thought you would! These skills and knowledge will come in handy the next time you have to lead a project at work or in your neighborhood.

You meet some really cool people. The Red Cross attracts staff members and volunteers from all life experiences, from veteran service members to people who themselves were helped by the Red Cross after a disaster. Plus, some volunteers have served the Greater Philadelphia Area as Red Cross volunteers for 20, 30, or even 40 years! These folks will have some extraordinary stories to share, and their experience will inspire you on your volunteer journey.

You have access to top-notch training modules. The Red Cross goes to great lengths to prepare its volunteers for anything they may experience during their service. The online knowledge base has learning modules for everything, from disaster training to public affairs/communications lessons. Since the materials are updated regularly and created by staff members with years of professional experience under their belts, you can be sure that you’re learning the most accurate and effective information possible (and you never know when that training will come in handy in other parts of your life).

The Red Cross looks great on your resume. If a prospective employer says they’re looking for a team player who is hard-working and eager to take on new challenges, they know they will find all those qualities and more in an applicant who volunteers for the Red Cross. Not everyone will answer the call to help communities in crisis after disaster strikes. The ones that do are highly motivated and committed to making the world a better place, and those are the kinds of people an employer is proud to have in their ranks.

So what are you waiting for? Visit RedCross.org/VolunteerToday to learn about volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross right now!

Primary image description: a graphic with the words “Volunteer with Us!” on a red circle with red drops around it. Behind the circle and words are four faded images of Red Cross volunteers engaged in different life-saving activities.

“I request that during that month [March] our people rededicate themselves to the splendid aims and activities of the Red Cross.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt, first Presidential Proclamation of March as Red Cross Month, 1943

For nearly 80 years, U.S. presidents have proclaimed March as Red Cross Month – a time to celebrate the people who make our mission possible — volunteers, blood donors, people trained in lifesaving skills, and supporters who step up to aid others when #HelpCantWait.

More than 90% of the Red Cross’ lifesaving work is powered by volunteers. In the year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, tens of thousands of Americans have stepped up to address the needs of families reeling from the pandemic as well as record-breaking disasters across the country.

In 2020, our 1,685 Red Cross volunteers in Southeastern Pennsylvania responded to 1,110 local disasters, providing assistance to 3,233 people, and volunteered at more than 5,000 blood drives, which collected 114,446 blood donations.

“The past year has been overwhelming for many in our community, and yet through it all, people are caring for one another,” said Guy Triano, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. “When help can’t wait, Red Cross volunteers provide families with the support they need during emergencies. During Red Cross Month in March, we honor this humanitarian spirit and ask you to join us by donating, volunteering, giving blood or taking a class to learn lifesaving skills.”

HOW TO HELP

You can help ensure that families don’t face emergencies alone – especially during a pandemic:

  • DONATE: Support our Disaster Relief efforts at redcross.org/GivingDay. A gift of any size makes a difference to provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support and other assistance. Your donation will be part of our annual Giving Day on March 24 to aid families in need across the country.
  • VOLUNTEER: Visit redcross.org/VolunteerToday for most-needed positions and local opportunities.
  • GIVE BLOOD: If you’re healthy and feeling well, make an appointment at RedCrossBlood.org. Your donation can make a lifesaving difference for a patient in need. As a thank you, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma on March 15-26 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
  • LEARN LIFESAVING SKILLS: Take a class in skills like CPR and first aid to help in an emergency at redcross.org/TakeAClass. Online options include our Psychological First Aid for COVID-19 course, which covers how to manage stress and support yourself and others.

Primary image description: American Red Cross banners hang from street light poles around LOVE Park and City Hall in Philadelphia during the month of March to commemorate Red Cross Month.

Each February, the nation and the American Red Cross celebrate Black History Month. All this month here on the Red Cross Philly blog we honor our Black colleagues that are part of our local Red Cross team. We invited them to be guest bloggers to share their thoughts and stories as proud Red Crossers that make up our diverse team here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Please note, the views expressed in this blog post are of the author and not necessarily those of the American Red Cross. To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion values at the Red Cross, please visit https://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/governance/corporate-diversity.html.

Today’s blog is written by Tracey Howard, American Red Cross volunteer.

My journey of service with the American Red Cross began in September of 2017, when one of my sorority sisters called and asked for my assistance in pulling together a pool of volunteers to manage phone calls for the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Telethon.

During the telethon, I was asked about furthering my service.  I jumped at the opportunity to serve individually, but also was eager to explore how my chapter, the Valley Forge Alumnae Chapter (VFAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., could partner with the American Red Cross.

Since participating at that NBC10 telethon, I’ve served as a blood donor ambassador, organized blood drives, assisted with the Sound the Alarm program, The Pillowcase Project, volunteer recruitment events and worked as a warehouse supply assistant. 

During a volunteer workshop, the speaker discussed the need for more minority participation in blood services.  I decided to make it my mission to increase minority participation through my constant cheerleading about the magnificent work of the American Red Cross. I tell firsthand accounts of how the American Red Cross assisted my friends who suffered loss because of a fire, friends affected by Hurricane Katrina, and friends who needed multiple transfusions.

When I was in my early teens, I lost a friend to Sickle Cell Disease, which impacts predominately Black men and women. The idea of a young person dying was a complex notion. It really hurt to see another friend miss out on the “normal” childhood fun because he was said “to be sick” and unable to participate in certain activities.

That young man died in his sleep at college at age 19. In 2019, another friend’s child, in her 20s, suddenly died of Sickle Cell Disease. The loss of friends to Sickle Cell Disease has fueled my desire to increase minority blood donor participation. It’s comforting to know that the American Red Cross implements a “blue tag” for blood donations that benefit patients with Sickle Cell Disease. 

The American Red Cross has been a vehicle for me to make a difference in the community and to share God’s gifts: sweat equity, creativity, and sisterly love. This organization is an American institution helping others in critical times.  Whether a person catches the “bug” to serve on their team of dynamic volunteers, or decides to remain a one-person army, everyone can make a difference.

If an individual decides to donate blood, his/her donation can save up to three lives.  So, every 56 days, an individual can make a dramatic impact on saving others by pledging to be a steadfast blood donor. As the quote goes, “Changing the entire world is a daunting task, but changing one person’s world is realistic and possible every day.”

This is the work of the American Red Cross.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition that causes red blood cells to be hard and crescent-shaped, making it difficult for blood to flow smoothly and carry oxygen to the rest of the body. In the U.S., about 100,000 people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, approximately 90 percent of whom are of African descent, are living with sickle cell disease. Regular blood transfusions are often used as a critical treatment for sickle cell patients, and blood donated by someone with a similar ethnicity is less likely to cause complications. To learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types/diversity/sicklecell.html.

Main image description: Photo of Tracey Howard

Each February, the nation and the American Red Cross celebrate Black History Month. All this month here on the Red Cross Philly blog we honor our Black colleagues that are part of our local Red Cross team. We invited them to be guest bloggers to share their thoughts and stories as proud Red Crossers that make up our diverse team here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Please note, the views expressed in this blog post are of the author and not necessarily those of the American Red Cross. To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion values at the Red Cross, please visit https://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/governance/corporate-diversity.html.

Today’s blog is written by Dr. Majorie Dejoie-Brewer, American Red Cross volunteer and member of the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Region Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

As an African American Caribbean female, I take great pride in Black History Month and my heritage.  I relish in the thought of the capabilities of my community and that this month is dedicated to shining a light on the beauty that is the African Diaspora.

We are a generous, talented and resilient tribe, but we are not always painted in that light in social media and the news.  Black History Month gives us an opportunity to unite our voices to showcase our many contributions, blessings, and gifts.

My connection with the American Red Cross is both personal and professional and deeply important to me.  It started over 20 years ago with the inception of the Blue Tag program, which identifies sickle cell donors.

It has evolved to include representing the sickle cell community through organizing blood drives and sponsored events, participating in community initiatives, discussing the importance of blood donations from the African American community on different platforms, and providing in-house educational seminars to staff and executives. I am thankful to the American Red Cross for being a valuable and long-standing partner of our community and for answering the call for more diversity, inclusion and equity.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition that causes red blood cells to be hard and crescent-shaped, making it difficult for blood to flow smoothly and carry oxygen to the rest of the body. In the U.S., about 100,000 people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds, approximately 90 percent of whom are of African descent, are living with sickle cell disease. Regular blood transfusions are often used as a critical treatment for sickle cell patients, and blood donated by someone with a similar ethnicity is less likely to cause complications. To learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/blood-types/diversity/sicklecell.html.

Main image description: Photo of Dr. Majorie Dejoie-Brewer

Wawa stores along East Coast to support Red Cross Disaster Relief

By: Dave Skutnik

For more than 75 years, the month of March has been proclaimed as American Red Cross Month by every U.S. president. And to help the American Red Cross mark this milestone, Wawa and The Wawa Foundation are announcing a campaign to support the Red Cross.

From February 22nd through April 11th, Wawa customers can donate their spare change to the Red Cross through the in-store coin collection campaign or round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference also going to the Red Cross.

In addition, Wawa coffee clutches will feature the American Red Cross logo throughout March, reminding customers of the important work the organization does in communities throughout the year.

Red Cross Month is a time to honor the kindness of Red Cross volunteers who aid families in need every day. Their dedication touches millions of lives each year as they carry out the organization’s 140-year mission of preventing and alleviating suffering

“During the trying times of the coronavirus pandemic, Red Cross volunteers have stepped up to help others in need, responding to 2020’s record-breaking disasters,” said Guy Triano, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross in Philadelphia. “We honor their service during Red Cross Month and ask you to support the Wawa campaign to make a difference.”

Local families rely on American Red Cross volunteers for comfort and hope while coping with homes fires and other disasters. Just in the past year, Red Cross volunteers helped thousands of people affected by home fires in the Philadelphia area alone. This lifesaving work is vital to strengthening our community’s resilience.

“The Wawa Foundation is committed to building strong communities and one of our main focuses is to support the heroes who serve our communities every day. We’re pleased to partner with the Red Cross to help them provide lifesaving services and assistance to our friends and neighbors in their greatest times of need,” said Jay Culotta, Board President of The Wawa Foundation.

How You Can Be A Hero

Donating spare change or rounding up your purchase at any Wawa store helps the Red Cross provide hope and urgent relief like food, shelter and other essentials. Donations are key to saving lives because they fund nearly 100 percent of Red Cross disaster relief activities. You can also visit redcross.org/philly to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, register for a class in lifesaving skills like CPR and First Aid, or become a volunteer for opportunities needed in the Philadelphia area.

Primary image description: American Red Cross Philadelphia Regional CEO Guy Triano receives a donation from team members of the Wawa Foundation in summer 2020. Everyone present is wearing a mask and standing in front of a Red Cross Disaster Relief van in front of a local Wawa.

Each February, the nation and the American Red Cross celebrate Black History Month. All this month here on the Red Cross Philly blog we honor our Black colleagues that are part of our local Red Cross team. We invited them to be guest bloggers to share their thoughts and stories as proud Red Crossers that make up our diverse team here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Please note, the views expressed in this blog post are of the author and not necessarily those of the American Red Cross. To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion values at the Red Cross, please visit https://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/governance/corporate-diversity.html.

Today’s blog is written by Cherieta Early, Regional Volunteer Services Officer, American Red Cross.

After an unprecedented year of living in a “bubble,” I am looking forward to Black History Month. Why? Because I embody the success that comes from the African American struggle in America. Also, in line with our heritage, Black History Month is best celebrated through word of mouth communication like storytelling, song and now sharing on social platforms; finally, no FOMO on missing personal contact.

We were all front and center as the plagues of COVID-19 and Social Injustice ravaged our country, so there is no need to rehash it. Instead I would like to share why I felt like “The Rose That Grew from Concrete” here at Red Cross.

For over 20 years, my career seemed mediocre at best. I worked hard to establish a reputation as an intelligent, creative leader; however, I never really felt recognized for my efforts. Could I earn a living? Yes. Were my positions sometimes coveted by others? Yes. Was I satisfied? No. It seemed as if my limits were predetermined by others, and “average” or “just enough” would be my legacy. Metaphorically, this was concrete.

What I did not consider was that my “LEGACY” was undergoing revision. Our African American Resource Group at the American Red Cross, UMOJA, unveiled a mentor program called LEGACY (Listen. Excel. Grow. Aspire. Connect Yourself). This group became the crack in the concrete through which I would grow; who knew?

A resource of top-notch African American leaders with stories like many, giving of themselves to nurture talent when they could very well live within their success, seems like a novel idea in business, right? For most, yes; however, it’s a reality at the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross Black Executive Steering Committee acted on a vision and essentially became the gardener, allowing me and many others to flourish – to grow from a crack in the concrete.

Yes, I feel more celebratory than ever this Black History Month because my success is due, in part, to my community. Successful African Americans who have come before me paved the way. And a new generation of African Americans will not be silenced – whose voices and actions will demand social change.

Main image description: Photo of Cherieta Early

By: Alana Mauger

Between cold temperatures, ice, snow, and shoveling (and shoveling…and shoveling), it’s shaping up to be a tough winter for many of us. As we take precautions to keep our families safe and warm, it’s important to remember that Fido, Fluffy, and all their furry (and not so furry) friends have special seasonal needs as well. 

Inside is best

In the words of cartoonist Charles Schultz, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” As a general rule, if you’re cold, so is your pet. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), dogs and cats should be kept inside during cold weather, as they are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, just like people. For farm animals that must live outside or neighborhood pets (like feral cats), it’s important to provide areas where they can shelter against wind, rain, and snow. Be sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water and plenty of food.

Cold vehicles, just like hot ones, can be deadly for pets. As a car cools down in the winter, it becomes like a refrigerator and can rapidly chill dogs, cats, and other domesticated animals. The AVMA recommends limiting your pet’s travel during cold weather and never leaving your pet unattended inside a vehicle.

Winter walks

Don’t worry – Fido can still enjoy his walks this winter, but you may want to shorten them during very cold days to protect you both from weather-related health risks. Also, be sure to wash and dry your pup’s feet and stomach after each walk to remove ice, salt, and chemicals that can cause dryness and cracking or may be toxic if ingested. Don’t forget to wash between each toe!

For especially sensitive paws, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests applying petroleum jelly to your pup’s paw pads before going outside for an added layer of protection. Coats and booties are also available for purchase if your pooch has a flair for fashion.

Be an advocate

Some people genuinely don’t know the risk that cold weather poses to animals. If you encounter a pet left out in the cold, the Humane Society of the United States encourages you to politely express your concern to the owner. If the neglect continues, the organization offers guidance on how to report your concerns.

Get prepared

If Fido or Fluffy get sick or injured, you need to be prepared to take immediate action. The free Red Cross Pet First Aid app puts veterinary emergency advice and pet care information in the palm of your hand. The app includes step-by-step guidance for treating dogs and cats in 24 emergency scenarios, as well as informative videos and interactive quizzes. The Red Cross also offers a 35-minute online course in Cat and Dog First Aid. The course costs $25 and is available any time.

Primary image description: a graphic with the American Red Cross logo and an illustration of a cat with a red scarf. Next to the cat is the phrase “Bring your pets inside during cold weather.”

Secondary image description: an image with three smartphones, all displaying the Red Cross Pet First Aid App. Next to the phones is the header “Pet First Aid App”. Underneath it is the sentence: “The free Pet First Aid App provides guidance on your pet’s health, what to do in emergencies and how to include pets in your preparedness plans.”

Each February, the nation and the American Red Cross celebrate Black History Month. All this month here on the Red Cross Philly blog we honor our Black colleagues that are part of our local Red Cross team. We invited them to be guest bloggers to share their thoughts and stories as proud Red Crossers that make up our diverse team here in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Please note, the views expressed in this blog post are of the author and not necessarily those of the American Red Cross. To learn more about Diversity and Inclusion values at the Red Cross, please visit https://www.redcross.org/about-us/who-we-are/governance/corporate-diversity.html.

Today’s blog is written by LaValle Warren, Sickle Cell Account Manager, Donor Recruitment, American Red Cross.

If you ask me on any given day, I will tell you that I am Black history 365 days a year. Black history is my everyday life! Supporting Black-owned businesses and donating to and supporting Black organizations are at the core of my experience.  I attended a Historic Black College and University (HBCU), and throughout my life, I’ve actively championed for Black voting rights, equality, diversity and inclusion. Either via financial donations, volunteering or consulting with Black companies, I’ve always been about learning and contributing to the Black experience.  Living Black history is an ongoing process for me.

Black History Month should be celebrated beyond the month of February. This way, people can continuously learn about the important roles that African Americans have played in the development of the United States, starting in 1619 when enslaved African people were captured and brought to these shores.  I often wonder why we’re not incorporating Black history information into our curriculum more. In fact, we should be taught about all immigrants who comprise our nation. This knowledge would make us more sensitive, respectful of one another and more conscious of our commonalities, rather than focusing on our cultural and racial differences.

At the American Red Cross, I am very impressed that we have several initiatives that support ongoing diversity awareness in our company. The Diversity & Inclusion Committee, as well as The Umoja Committee, are open to all Red Crossers.  As a member of both committees, I firmly believe that the mission of these entities increases awareness about African American’s legacy and highlights the importance of diversifying our workplace.

If we knew more about Black her/history, we would be aware of the significant contributions made by millions of enslaved individuals who provided free labor for hundreds of years to the very institutions and infrastructure of America. Even though I know many things about the contributions of my race, I saw a comment that former First Lady Michelle Obama made in her primetime televised address to the 2016 Democratic National Convention about how proud she was to have resided in the White House, saying, “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”

Some people were deeply offended by her remark, but in truth, African American enslaved and free people provided the bulk of labor that built the White House, the United States Capitol and other government buildings. This little-known historical fact among countless others illustrates how little is taught to us during our education. Perhaps if other groups of people were aware of the significant contributions made by people of color, it would increase respect and reduce racism and discrimination. This is what Black History Month means to me, honoring the achievements made by African Americans.

I’m so proud of past and present historic individuals, such as Vice President Kamala Harris; NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, who helped calculate the trajectories for astronauts to get the moon; noted heavyweight world boxing champion Muhammad Ali; contralto and the first African American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1955 Marian Anderson; successful writer James Baldwin; civil rights crusader Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; actress/author, Maya Angelou; Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman; self-made billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey; Grammy Award-winning producer/songwriters and architects of the Sound of Philadelphia, Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff; Urban One Founder Cathy Hughes; activist Octavius Catto, who challenged discrimination in Philadelphia; the first Black Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall; Civil Rights advocate Rosa Park, who helped kick off the civil right movement; and reigning entertainment royalty Beyonce.

These are just a handful of African Americans whose contributions to domestic and global culture are worthy of study, recognition and celebration in our society. In fact, closer to home for us in the American Red Cross, it is significant to know that Dr. Charles Drew,  considered by many to be the father of blood banks, was an African American physician who developed ways to process and store blood plasma.

My current role at the American Red Cross as Sickle Cell Account Manager allows me to stand on the shoulders of Dr. Drew’s discoveries and legacy. I’m elated to represent our efforts within the Black community and connect with living African American leaders in churches, schools, civic organizations, corporations and the overall community. During February, Black History Month, and every month of the year, I will work diligently to uplift and educate the community about how the Red Cross blood collections operates.  As I proudly represent, I proclaim that Black history is ME, and Black history is an ongoing consequential part of American history.

Main image description: Photo of LaValle Warren

By: Sukripa Shah

February is National Heart Month, and it’s also the month when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. In honor of both, our Volunteer Engagement Lead Sukripa Shah writes about how learning CPR/First Aid with the American Red Cross is an act of love.

February is the month of love. When a person is in love, happy hormones are released in the body, leading to tangible health benefits. From improved mood and reduced stress level to a long life and overall well-being, the link between love and a healthy heart is strong. Being in love is great, but having a healthy heart also reduces the chances of experiencing Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). 

National Heart Month is celebrated mainly to acknowledge the importance of a healthy heart and to promote a heart-healthy lifestyle. The cause of SCA is hard to pinpoint, as the risk factors vary from underlying heart conditions, intense physical stress, to genetics. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Tragically, 9 out of 10 people who experience out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. Most people (7 out of 10) suffer cardiac arrest at home. 

When a person collapses during a cardiac arrest, the heart stops beating and stops the flow of oxygen to the brain and other parts of the body. This significantly lowers the chances of one’s survival. Research states that bystander CPR, or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, can double or triple a person’s chances of living when implemented immediately. 

We cannot always predict the occurrences of somebody experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, but what we can do is control their survival chances through timely CPR. The Red Cross promotes the critical need to train as many people to perform CPR and know how to use an automated external defibrillator (or AED) until help arrives. The Red Cross provides hands-on, OSHA-compliant training and certification classes on CPR and AED to anyone who wants to learn life-saving skills they can use during an emergency. If you want to learn how to perform CPR and use AED, you can enroll in a class here

You can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App for instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies, including Sudden Cardiac Arrest, at your fingertips. 

The symbol of love is a heart. This Valentine’s Day, let’s celebrate love and compassionate care by learning and practicing critical CPR and AED use to help save your loves ones and people experiencing a cardiac emergency. You may also want to share the love through volunteering! The Red Cross depends primarily on its strong network of volunteers to facilitate its life-saving mission. If you are passionate about helping others and working with team members who are on the front lines of emergency relief, you can learn more about the available positions at Red Cross Volunteer Opportunities. 

Primary image description: A graphic from the American Red Cross Training Services division. White words over a red background, reading: “The life you save with CPR is most likely someone you love.” The “o” in “love” is shaped like a heart.

Secondary image description: Picture of a participant’s gloved hands in a Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED class, preparing to begin chest compressions on a CPR test Manikin.