A tribute to Red Cross volunteers

Each October the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York sets aside a few days to thank those who donate their time, money, and blood to help us prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of disaster. Those who support this effort number in the hundreds, and are found in each of our local communities here in southwestern New York.

From Dunkirk to Olean and from Jamestown to Wellsville, these supporters include the volunteers who work at blood drives and respond to disasters, the donors who freely give of their own blood to supply our nation’s emergency blood needs, and the generous financial contributors who provide 100 percent of the financial support needed to deliver our essential humanitarian services.

This year we will hold our donor and volunteer recognition events at three different times and locations throughout southwestern New York; on Thursday at noon in our Olean office, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. in our Wellsville office, and Oct. 17 at noon in the Cassadaga American Legion. If you are a volunteer or donor who would like to attend one or more of these events, please call us at 716-664-5115 or 585-593-1531 to RSVP.

One special category of Red Cross supporter is our board member, who not only volunteers time, skill, and experience, but also makes a personal commitment to the financial health of your local not-for-profit Red Cross organization. Each year these volunteer leaders tackle their fundraising responsibilities with gusto by selflessly agreeing to make a significant gift to your local Red Cross. This support is in addition to the many governance tasks and responsibilities that they accomplish throughout the year, and ensures that your Red Cross can meet its fundraising goals and continue to deliver its essential services. This year the 19 community leaders who make up our board of directors, from throughout Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties, have set a goal for themselves of $25,000 and 100 percent board member participation. This generous gift will fund a significant amount of our local disaster relief and military support services.

Our board members typically make the Red Cross one of their top three charitable priorities, a commitment which reflects their role as community and chapter leaders. It also reflects the pride they feel in serving their community through the Red Cross. If you are interested in serving on our local board of directors and actively participating in the governance of your Red Cross Chapter, please contact me at william.tucker@redcross.org or 716-664-5115 so that I may provide you with additional information on this opportunity; thank you for your service!

Bill Tucker is the executive director of the American Red Cross of Southwestern New York.