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Ashburn Blog: 100 years of American Red Cross

In celebration of 100 years serving Loudoun County and Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross is inviting the community to a special event March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Ashburn Fire and Rescue Department on Ashburn Road.

There will be presentations by local elected officials, demonstrations focusing on the Red Cross' different lines of service, and much more.

The Red Cross provides many important services to the community, including blood drives, health and safety preparedness training, service to the Armed Forces and disaster services.

Erwin Stierle, executive director for Loudoun and Prince William counties, said the Red Cross has been particularly active in Loudoun with their CPR training program. He said from July 2015 to June 2016, they trained about 2,600 people in Loudoun in lifesaving skills such as CPR, first aid, aquatics and babysitter training.

Paul Davis Restoration in Ashburn has donated the use of their state-of-the-art training room to host their CPR and babysitting training courses.

"These classes can make a big impact in our community," Stierle said.

In addition, over the same time period, the Red Cross collected nearly 2,000 units of blood, which is enough to save up to 6,000 lives.

Stierle also noted that they worked with over 120 cases to help Loudoun's military families through emergency communications, financial assistance, or other information and referral services.

For disaster relief, they responded to 16 incidents and helped 48 Loudoun residents, including for financial assistance and relief items such as comfort kits, blankets, food and toys.

The Red Cross works closely with Loudoun County Fire and Rescue by visiting Loudoun communities that are at risk for home fires and installing smoke alarms when needed. If a smoke alarm is less than 10 years old, they will test it and replace batteries as needed. Additionally, they will provide residents with home fire safety information to better prepare their homes.

"This is a good partnership and helps to save lives," Stierle said.

The next volunteer training event in Loudoun is April 15 in the Sugarland Run neighborhood of Sterling from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Information may be found at volunteerconnection.redcross.org.

Another Red Cross program is the “Pillowcase Project,” which is a preparedness education program that teaches children in grades 3-5 about personal and family preparedness and safety skills, local hazards, and basic coping skills. The local contact for this project is Norma Gamero at 202-359-6520.

There are five official Red Cross Clubs for teens: Rock Ridge, Briar Woods, Freedom, and two community based clubs, Loudoun Red Cross Youth Group and Loudoun Valley Red Cross Club. Several schools have held blood drives in the 2016 fiscal year, including Dominion, Loudoun County, Round Hill Elementary, and Woodgrove.

In 2017, they launched a citizen CPR training program in Loudoun, which is a 20-minute presentation teaching the non-certified hands-only CPR method and is free to the community. These are offered in business meetings, schools, faith-based organizations, and non-profit groups at no cost.

The Red Cross is always looking for program manager volunteers to help manage existing clubs and implement new clubs in other Loudoun schools, Stierle said. They also need an outreach program manager for the citizen CPR program. Contact Stierle at 571-293-1771 directly for additional information.

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