American Red Cross of Lee County

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For more than 100 years, the American Red Cross has been giving people who can help others a means to reach those in need – in the process preventing and relieving human suffering. In our local community, American Red Cross volunteers work around the clock to help Lee County families prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. During the last fiscal year (2001-2002), we touched the lives of more than 40,000 Lee County residents.

Here's a typical Red Cross Day

2:05 a.m.
A Red Cross volunteer is awakened by the answering service. She returns a call from a Cape Coral resident, who is at the hospital and needs her help. In a voice filled with disbelief and tears, he tells her that his wife is in ICU and is not expected to live. His only son is a sergeant in the Army and is stationed in Japan. The volunteer begins the Red Cross Armed Forces Emergency Service process to bring his son home immediately.

5:45 a.m.
An alarm clock rings and a FGCU student rolls out of bed. It’s time for her to get ready for work. Majoring in Human Services, she is completing a 500 hour internship with the Red Cross. Today she is coordinating a Tornado Drill at Diplomat Elementary School in Cape Coral.

8:30 a.m.
Residents of a Fort Myers Condo Association gather in their community room for coffee and donuts. Red Cross volunteers, insurance officials, and county emergency management personnel are on hand to kick-off the Disaster Resistant Neighborhood program. The program aims to familiarize Lee County residents with the hazards they face and some simple steps that can take to reduce or prevent loss of life or property due to disasters.

10:52 a.m.
A local businessman calls the Red Cross office. One of his employees is a Kosovar immigrant who has family still in a refugee camp in Macedonia. The Red Cross caseworker begins to research information on the relocation process and determine how the Red Cross can help.

1:17 p.m.
A retired businessman collapses in his chair following a speaking engagement at a Fort Myers business luncheon. He stops breathing and someone calls 911. Another retired businessman (and 63 year Red Cross volunteer) rushes to his side and begins CPR.

3:12 p.m.
Two volunteers jump in the Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) and head towards Bonita Springs. The ERV is loaded with snacks and drinks for 60 fire fighters and other emergency personnel who have been battling a brush fire for several hours. This is the 8th time that the Red Cross has responded to brush fires in the last six weeks.

6:30 p.m.
Ten middle and high school students gather for a meeting to discuss Red Cross Service Learning Projects. Last year, students raised money and awareness for critical needs in other countries. Additionally, one middle school initiated a reading program for their local elementary school, educating students about fire safety.

11:06 p.m.
A beeper goes off. It is the Red Cross answering service, notifying a Disaster Action Team volunteer
that a local Lehigh Acres family, whose home is on fire, needs help. The volunteer gets out of bed, pulls on her Red Cross T-shirt, and goes out into the night, ready to provide food, clothing and shelter to a family in need.

These ordinary heroes – our volunteers – do more than help others. They often inspire the people they serve. That’s the real story behind the Red Cross… the people who help and the people who are assisted. They are ordinary people, just like you, who one day find themselves living through extraordinary circumstances, doing remarkable things.

Too busy? We can work with you to provide rewarding experiences, whatever your schedule. Think you don’t have any skills to offer? You’d be surprised. And, if you need training, we provide it. Contact our chapter at 278-3401 to learn more.

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