ZANESVILLE, Ohio – This is the third day of the new year and local organizations are looking back upon the successes of 2019; while planning for the year ahead. The American Red Cross of Southeast Ohio, located in Norwich, experienced a 2019 full of helping those in need across the 13 county region that includes Muskingum County. Matthew Riddle, Executive Director of Red Cross of Southeast Ohio, says volunteer statistics increased over the course of the year.
“2019 was a really good year for us. We were able to really build on some of the foundation that we laid and it will help us in the future—and what I mean by that is, we increased our volunteer base from 300 to 356 and we increased our hours for our volunteers in the community by over 100 percent. So, we had over 12,000 hours that were served in southeast Ohio this year. We also responded to 197 single home fires and multi-home fires.”
Over 498 area children were educated through the Pillowcase Program; while over 1,100 smoke alarms were installed in more than 502 homes. The American Red Cross also responded to severe weather events across the country and the area.
“There was really only one major hurricane this year; there were so forest fires—obviously, we responded to, and other things. But locally, we had major storms. I mean, we had tornadoes in Dayton, we had tornadoes here locally. We had F1 tornadoes that the community came together and really showed why we are Southeast Ohio.”
In 2019 alone, over 18,815 units of blood were donated in the region—meaning enough blood was donated to save up to 56,000 lives. In 2020, the Red Cross is looking to continue increasing volunteer numbers and blood donations across the area.