Editor's note: The Vail Daily is running a series of articles on nonprofits that are participating in Colorado Gives Day on Dec. 4.
For nearly 100 years, the American Red Cross has been serving the people of Colorado. Its mission: The Red Cross prevents and alleviates suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
When disaster strikes, American Red Cross workers are among the first on the scene, providing food, shelter, supplies and hope. Red Cross nurses administer health care, and licensed mental health practitioners provide emotional support. Red Cross workers also provide referrals to aid in disaster recovery.
During the past year in Colorado, the Red Cross has responded to more than 400 disasters and helped thousands of people affected by those disasters. This included a massive response to the 2012 summer wildfires, during which Red Cross workers operated 19 shelters and evacuation centers, worked with partners including the Salvation Army to deliver more than 67,000 meals and snacks and logged more than 9,000 health and mental health contacts with affected residents.
The Red Cross is also there in times of crisis to support members of the armed forces and their families. Through its global communication network, the Red Cross provides emergency communications and other services, including counseling and financial assistance, to support military families. The Red Cross reconnected 3,053 Colorado military families via emergency communications last year.
In addition to responding to disasters, the group helps communities prepare for and prevent emergencies. The Red Cross trains residents in lifesaving skills such as CPR, first aid and AEDs. During fiscal year 2012, the Red Cross trained nearly 71,000 Coloradans in lifesaving skills and placed 527 lifesaving AEDs in publicly accessible places.
Their preparedness subject-matter experts work with communities, organizations and individuals to empower them to be prepared and resilient in the face of disaster. By delivering training, connecting community members around preparedness activities and building capacity, they are working to help 1 million Coloradans and at least 250 businesses be prepared for disasters and emergencies.
The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit www.red
cross.org/colorado or blog.redcross.org.