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American Red Cross Heroes Campaign Has Begun

photo by James Meeks

The American Red Cross kick-offed their 2014 Heroes Campaign and Red Cross Month event on Feb. 28. During the month of March ‘Heroes’ that have pledged to raise $1,000 for their local Red Cross chapter will be doing everything they can to make their goal as well as promote the mission of the organization, preparedness.

The day began at Fort Sill National Bank where Community Manager Daniel Farrell introduced local ‘Heroes’ and the Bayless Family, who are currently receiving assistance from the Red Cross.

Christopher Bayless and his family lived in Waurika, OK until a house fire destroyed everything two days before Christmas.

“Losing everything hurts, watching my babies cry cuts you deeper than anything on Earth,” Bayless said. “I asked God what to do and where to go from here, little did I know he started working and within a couple hours I got a phone call, that phone call was from the Red Cross.”

Bayless continued his account saying that he didn’t think about calling the Red Cross as he was trying to figure out what to do next. Now Christopher and his family are going to become Red Cross volunteers to give back to the organization that helped them in their time of need.

“I never volunteered for anything in my life, most my life I has been spent working, now I’m going to volunteer,” Bayless said.

Jocelyn Townsend, Senior Station Manager of the Central and Western Red Cross chapter started off as a volunteer during the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. After seeing the devastation the act left to survivors and families, Townsend soon came to work with the organization.

Townsend stated that the Red Cross keeps an eye out for people in need when disaster strikes for families like Bayless.

“We work really closely with the local fire department as well as different departments in the area to figure out who needs help from the Red Cross,” Townsend said. “They usually will notify us to check out this family or this location because they just had a house fire.”

Shortly after the kick-off ceremony the American Red Cross moved to the Atlanta Bread Company to raise funds for disaster relief across the nation. The Red Cross received 10% of the total sales made during the lunch hours as well as receiving 100% of cookie sales.

The American Red Cross Great Plains Center includes Comanche, Caddo, Cotton, Jefferson, Stephens and Grady Counties. They serve a population of more than 266,000 people as well as prepare and respond to emergencies.

In the last year, The Great Plains Service Center trained over 345 people in lifesaving skills such as first aid, CPR and disaster preparedness services.

To accomplish their mission the American Red Cross relies on volunteers to step up to aid communities.

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