WARREN - The American Red Cross is celebrating March as Red Cross Month with fundraisers across the Valley.
"We receive no federal funds," said Debbie Musser. "We're funded totally by local donations."
Musser, administrative assistant for the Mahoning Valley branch of the Red Cross, said the local Red Cross chapter is participating with chapters across the nation in using the month to encourage support for the organization.
Red Cross month was designated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1943 to respond to the need for donations in World War II efforts and has continued every year since. To help raise funds this month, Musser said several restaurants have agreed to participate in their Dine and Donate program including:
"It's been going well," Musser said, "we're getting the word out that we always need volunteers."
Besides financial donations, the Red Cross is calling for volunteers for their Disaster Action Team, these are individuals who respond to local disasters such as fires or floods in the community.
Musser said there is a good core group of volunteers, but there are times when they may be unavailable.
For community members who have saved the life of another, the Red Cross is now accepting nominations for its 2013 Acts of Courage Awards. The awards are for Trumbull or Mahoning County residents who "acted courageously and selflessly in a time of emergency."
"We've had several nominations turned in," Musser said, "One was just turned in for a neighbor who saved someone's life."
Nominations are due by April 30 and the heroic event must have occurred between April 1, 2012, and April 1, 2013. The event does not have to have taken place within the two counties.
Nomination and volunteer forms can be found on the Red Cross' website, www.redcross.org/oh/warren.