March is Red Cross Month – a time to recognize the many heroes who help those in need in our community. And this March, those heroes have been busier than usual.

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Our Regional Disaster Officer, David Kunzelman, spoke with Spectrum News this week about just how busy our volunteer disaster responders have been. Compared to responses in March 2016, calls for Red Cross assistance throughout our 24-county region have increased 78 percent this year.

Where last March our Disaster Action Team members were there to help 195 people in need of assistance after local fires and other emergencies, this year, those heroes have helped nearly 350 people in need. The spike may be attributed to a greater number of fires affecting multiple families, greater awareness in local communities that the Red Cross can be called in to help, or simply a greater number of local fires this month than usual. No matter the explanation, the Red Cross is there to respond whenever we’re needed, thanks to the incredible dedication of our local volunteers.

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CBS6Albany also took note of the spike in local disaster response activity during this Red Cross Month, speaking to our CEO, Gary Striar, after a one-week stretch in which we helped 28 local families affected by fires.

“We are going to respond every time, and we’re going to be there every time, but we need to make sure that the dollars keep coming in that support that work,” Striar said.

Just like the volunteers who answer the call each time the Red Cross is called, the donors who support this work are heroes, too. Each and every day – and especially during a busy Red Cross Month – we are grateful for all those who allow us to provide help and hope where it’s needed most.

To learn more and find out how you can become a Red Cross hero, visit redcross.org/eny.

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