Red Cross reflects on 2020

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As we approach the end of this year like no other, I am filled with gratitude for our community which makes helping others a priority in their lives. Commitment to service takes on added significance as we face this global pandemic together.

Daily, I am humbled by our Red Cross volunteers, who share of themselves to help the most vulnerable prepare for and recover from life-changing disasters — like fires, floods and other emergencies. More than 250 volunteers in our region deployed to help our neighbors following historic wildfires out West and relentless hurricanes along the Gulf Coast. Many traveled far from home to deliver hope and help to thousands of families.

Here at home our volunteers responded to more than 500 home fires bringing hope and healing to more than 1,100 families which included over 800 children.

In total, our volunteers work over 152,000 hours in our community and beyond to alleviate suffering and build more resilient neighborhoods. Their compassion and commitment never wavered despite the challenges of working in a pandemic.

Thanks for the countless blood donors who roll up their sleeves to give the gift of life. Their efforts especially more meaningful as donors came out to give convalescent plasma to patients battling COVID-19.

And just last week our community joined us in our work with Service to the Armed Forces by collecting and donating close to 4,000 socks and undergarments for VA Hospitals across the region.

And a heartfelt thanks to our health care heroes who continue to sacrifice so much to help our region get through this crisis.

And finally, a thank you to our supporters who believe in the Red Cross mission; your support ensures we can be there 24/7 for our community.

Wishing you all a happy and safe 2021. Let’s continue to look out for one another.

— Kevin Coffey, regional chief executive officer, American Red Cross, Albany

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