Red Cross appreciates donors’ support

Joyce Knorr, Aroostook County Branch Manager, Special to The County
16 years ago
    This year, the Aroostook County Branch of the American Red Cross-Pine Tree Chapter has touched more than 2,500 lives throughout our area. This year, the branch office has responded to  more than 30 local disasters, 25 of them were family home fires; trained 2,231 individuals in lifesaving skills such as CPR, first aid, water safety, pet first aid, and how to use an automatic emergency defibrillator; trained over 300 individuals, including school groups and businesses, in community disaster education – empowering people with the skills and confidence to be ready for disasters and life’s emergencies; provided over 20 emergency messages, referrals and related services to U.S. service members, veterans, and their families through our Armed Forces Service department; and provided over 100 hours of disaster training to 15 new volunteers.
“When you take a step back and look at the numbers of how many people were helped this past year, and in so many different ways, it really is quite something,” said Ben Zetterman, local Red Cross disaster volunteer and advisory council member. “But even more special is the fact that the only reason we can do this work is because of the generosity of our donors and volunteers. Their support and compassion, enabling us to do extraordinary things in this community every day, is simply magnificent. I can’t put into words how thankful I am for their generosity.”
More than 50 people volunteer at the Aroostook County Branch of the Red Cross, donating – on average – over 4,500 hours of service each year. Nationwide, volunteers make up 97 percent of the Red Cross workforce, allowing the Red Cross to operate with great efficiency. Most people do not realize that the Red Cross is not a government agency and does not receive funding from state or federal government sources. Since 1881, the Red Cross has relied on the contributions of the people and continues to operate in this same capacity today.
“We understand how precious gifts of time, money and blood are to members of this community,” said Sherry Chamberland, local advisory council member. “We are committed to being good stewards of the gifts and trust that our donors place in us. All donations stay local and are put to work helping Aroostook County people in their time of need and in our training efforts to save lives.”
The Red Cross is among the first on the scene to administer humanitarian relief to survivors of disasters and other crises. Our community can never be too prepared for the uncertainties ahead. As a community, we cannot be caught off guard. We do not know what extraordinary demands will be placed on the Red Cross and possibly each of us individually. That’s why, especially during the holiday season, your tax deductible gift of any amount is so important to help your local Red Cross be prepared for whatever comes our way in 2008. Whether it’s a blanket to stave off the effects of shock, a warm meal for exhausted fire or emergency personnel, mental health counseling to help victims cope with the confusion and grief that accompany disasters, or a Red Cross CPR/First Aid class that allows a family member or co-worker to save the life of another – your most welcomed gift will ensure these services are in place for our people.
For more information on how you can help your local Red Cross, please call (207) 762-5671 or e-mail Donations can be mailed to: American Red Cross – Pine Tree Chapter, 141 State St., Presque Isle, Maine 04769.
On behalf of our staff, advisory council members, and volunteers – we thank you for your caring support throughout 2007 and we wish each of you a very safe and happy holiday season!