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Red Cross on the scene when help is needed


Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of articles highlighting the agencies that receive funding from United Way of Ellis County.


Special to the HDN

The American Red Cross works at home and around the world to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. When people need help, the Red Cross provides disaster victims food, shelter and a helping hand toward recovery.

The American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills that can save a family member, a friend or a stranger in need. The Red Cross helps service members and their families during every stage of military life by providing communication resources. The Red Cross also collects and provides critical blood products to hospital patients.

Every second of every day, someone is assisted by the American Red Cross. All of these services are provided because of the dedication of a network of volunteers, donors and partners that help turn compassion into action every single day.

Locally, the Western Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross provides services to 32 western Kansas communities, including Ellis County. In 2013, the local Red Cross provided support to more than 200 people in Ellis County.

The chapter was heavily involved in the train derailment situation that happened in Hays on July 16. The Red Cross was able to provide shelter and food to people who were temporarily evacuated from their homes as well as provide support to the emergency workers on scene. Also in 2013, the local Red Cross trained more than 200 people with lifesaving skills such as CPR, first aid, lifeguarding and more than 300 children enrolled in Red Cross learn-to-swim courses.

The Red Cross recently has developed a suite of mobile apps that allow users to access information on what to do before, during and after disasters and emergencies wherever and whenever they need it.

The Red Cross mobile apps put critical information in people's hands when they need it most. Mobile apps that are available include first aid, tornado, earthquake, hurricane and wildfire. The apps have been nationally recognized and are free to download to any Android or Apple device.

Finally, the American Red Cross is run solely by donations from the American people and does not rely on financial assistance from the government. Approximately 91 cents of every donated dollar is used to provide assistance to a person in need.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or making a donation, contact your local Red Cross office at (785) 625-2617.