Red Cross disaster-relief truck
A disaster-relief truck operated by the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. Photo courtesy of the agency

As climate disasters, blood donation needs, and other emergencies upend lives, local community heroes are stepping up to care for one another.

In March, the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties is honoring those who make its mission possible during the 80th annual American Red Cross Month celebration — a national tradition that began in 1943 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation.

“When help can’t wait during emergencies, people in San Diego and Imperial Counties rally together to provide relief and hope for neighbors in need,” said Sean Mahoney, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross Southern California Region. 

“This humanitarian spirit is at the heart of our community, and we are proud to honor all those who make our mission possible during this year’s Red Cross Month celebration. You can join in their commitment by donating, volunteering, giving blood or platelets, or taking a lifesaving skills course.”

San Diegans can participate in Red Cross Month by visiting to make a financial donation, give blood or platelets, become a volunteer, or take a class in lifesaving skills, such as first aid, CPR, and how to use an AED. 

On March 22, supporters can also join the annual Red Cross Giving Day campaign by donating at to help provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support, and other assistance for people affected by disasters big and small.

CONTINUING CLARA BARTON’S LIFESAVING LEGACY Today in San Diego and Imperial Counties, Red Cross volunteers, blood and platelet donors, and supporters are advancing the lifesaving legacy of Clara Barton — one of the most honored women in U.S. history — who founded the American Red Cross more than 140 years ago. Her vision to prevent and alleviate human suffering has never wavered: Generation after generation, people have come together to adapt this timeless mission for their communities’ most urgent needs.

JOIN A REWARDING DAY OF GIVING BACK Home fires are the most frequent disaster response for the Red Cross, which is also working to help families stay safe by installing free smoke alarms during its Sound the Alarm home fire safety events in at-risk communities. Volunteers are needed for an event on Saturday, April 1 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Spring Valley — register and learn more at

PREVENT A BLOOD SHORTAGE When volunteer blood and platelet donors lend an arm this March, they’ll help keep the blood supply from dropping further this spring. All who come to give blood, platelets, or plasma March 1-31,​​​​ will receive a $10 Visa Prepaid Card by email.* Plus, they’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $3,000 Visa Prepaid Card – which could help toward expenses like gas or groceries. There will be five lucky winners.*