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Local Heroes for the American Red Cross
The Sussex County Chapter of the American Red Cross has been coming to the aid of those in crisis since its founding in 1917. The chapter serves more than 151,000 people preparing for and responding to emergencies, ensuring there is enough blood available for those who need it, providing life-saving training to the public and serving as a conduit between families and military personnel overseas in the face of family emergencies. Local volunteers are on-call around the clock every day of the year.
All American Red Cross disaster assistance is free but, of course, there is a cost. The cost of providing Red Cross emergency assistance in response to a typical single family fire in Sussex County is $1,000. Contrary to popular belief, the American Red Cross is not government funded and relies solely on contributions from the public. In early 2009, during uncertain economic times, the local Red Cross officials announced the possibility of having to close the Sussex County Chapter within a year if donations continued to decline. Former Sussex County Freeholder Glen Vetrano responded to this crisis by spearheading a three week campaign called the “Heroes” initiative. This initiative challenged seven captains to find five “Heroes” to each raise $1,000 for the Sussex County Chapter from groups, individuals and businesses. This campaign nearly doubled the anticipated goal during its first year and has become an annual event.
The Sussex County Division of Social Services, County Clerk’s Office and Surrogate’s Office joined the “Heroes” effort in 2009. In fact, these agencies have participated every year by hosting various fundraising events such as a Pie Day, Silent Auction, Pizza Day, Hot Dog Day, Dress Down, Coin Jar and Ice Cream Social.
One in six people will be impacted by Red Cross programs during their lifetime – will you be one of them? Sadly, most of us do not think about the invaluable services provided by the Red Cross until we are actually faced with an emergency. Please support the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is here in our local communities - and in communities all across the country - only because of the contributions of the people who live and work in these communities. Tax deductible donations can be made through the American Red Cross website .