By the President of the United States of America
Since its founding in 1881, the American Red Cross has had one basic purpose.' The concern for others in distress. Indicative of this concern is the fact that over five million people successfully completed Red Cross safety courses last year. Many of them received instructions in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid techniques for choking. Exemplifying this concern is the Certificate of Merit, which is presented to our fellow Americans who have saved or sustained a human life with the skills learned in a Red Cross first aid, small craft or water safety training program. Since 1928, well over 6,000 persons have received this award.
The Red Cross also operates its Blood Services, which collects and processes half of the supply of blood needed by the Nation's medical facilities. Red Cross is continuously seeking new and more economical uses for blood and blood products. And there is always a need for more volunteer blood donors to meet the ever-increasing need for this lifesaving gift.
The Red Cross serves members of the armed forces, their families and veterans through financial assistance, counselling and emergency communications. Thousands of disaster victims each year receive a variety of Red Cross services, including emergency food, shelter and clothing, first aid and medical help, replacement of occupational tools and other vital services.
And Red Cross volunteers may be found each day performing compassionate, personal tasks to aid the elderly, the handicapped and the homebound. Young people develop leadership skills as they assist in Red Cross programs in their schools and communities.
Each year, March is observed as Red Cross Month. Although the American Red Cross works closely with government, there are no Federal funds appropriated for its support. The Red Cross depends upon the American people for membership and voluntary contributions to carry out the functions of its Congressional Charter.
Now, THEREEORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America and Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross, designate March 1979, as Red Cross Month. I urge all Americans to give generous support to the work of their local Red Cross chapter.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of February, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:31 p.m., February 1, 1979]