Bartels: You can make a difference

Posted by: Victoria Klimczak  | Friday, February 15, 2019 3:19 pm

Recently, the American Red Cross hosted the annual blood drive competition at the Statehouse. I was able to make a donation and speak with representatives about how Hoosiers in our area can support their goals and services. Volunteers and donors are always called to help the organization fulfill its mission of providing for our communities, armed services and those in need.

Currently, the Indiana Region of the Red Cross serves 6.3 million Hoosiers in 87 counties. To continue the successful work of the Red Cross, Hoosiers can volunteer and participate in blood donations, disaster services or health and safety preparedness throughout the state.

Most known for its blood drives, the Red Cross is the single-largest supplier of blood in the United States and among the first to implement testing for infectious disease and clinical trials for blood safety. Blood donations support those involved in life-threatening disasters and accidents, enduring cancer treatment and in need of blood transfusions.

In 2018, our area alone collected over 4,000 units of blood and responded to nearly 30 home fires with disaster relief assistance. Thousands of Hoosiers have received preparedness training for health and fire safety through The Home Fire Campaign and The Pillowcase Project. The Home Fire Campaign provides vulnerable communities with fire safety tools and emergency escape plans, while The Pillowcase Project empowers children in elementary school to take action in emergencies. Tell City has been successful implementing these programs to better prepare and protect our community.

Health and safety preparedness training is crucial while responding not only to those in disaster-stricken areas, but also for health emergencies that can happen at any time. Whether a teacher, first responder, caretaker or bystander, there is a call to act responsibly for the safety of those around us. Red Cross offers a variety of education opportunities and training for first aid, CPR, babysitting and emergency planning. You can learn more and sign up for these courses at

Red Cross is also a champion for serving our military members. Through education and response programs, the Red Cross helps military families during deployment and when arriving back home. Members of the armed services have access to re-integration support, medical recovery services and financial assistance.

The American Red Cross is a fundamental organization that has helped millions of people across the world. Volunteers, donors and caseworkers provide life-saving services to those in need. To give blood, donate money or time, host a fundraiser or take a class, turn to the Southwest Chapter of the Indiana Red Cross by visiting or by calling 812-471-7200. I encourage you to help those in our community, across the state and throughout the country in any way possible.


State Rep. Stephen Bartels (R-Eckerty) represents House District 74, 
which includes portions of Crawford, Dubois, Orange, Perry and Spencer counties.

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