Red Cross in the spotlight this month

Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios signs the American Red Cross Month proclamation yesterday as American Red Cross-NMI Chapter executive director John Hirsh looks on. (Erwin Encinares)

This month has been declared American Red Cross Month in recognition of the humanitarian organization’s operation that has aided the CNMI in several natural disasters throughout the years.

Acting in the stead of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios signed yesterday the proclamation that designates March 2019 as Red Cross Month in recognition of their services and response to several natural disasters that have struck the CNMI.

According to ARC-NMI Chapter statistics, they were able to provide over 116,000 meals, 130,000 relief items and assisted over 4,800 families with financial assistance in response to Super Typhoon Yutu alone.

The NMI chapter also started a program in cooperation with the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to install smoke alarms in several homes throughout the Commonwealth. To date, they have installed nearly 800 smoke alarms for free.

ARC-NMI chapter executive director John Hirsh gave particular homage to the chapter’s volunteers. “We are nothing without our volunteers. They are really the heart and soul of everything that we do,” he said.

“We deeply appreciate all the kind words around Super Typhoon Yutu. Our mission goes on everyday, so we are out there trying to help families and trying to make our islands safer for not only the next storm but for our children,” he said, adding that educational programs also help with this.

According to Palacios, whatever the role is, as long as people are assisting the community, it counts.

“…Each individual, whether a legislator, a member of the Cabinet, or even a volunteer, we have all made a difference in our individual efforts to help with the mission of the American Red Cross,” he said.

Palacios recognized that the CNMI is just starting to get over Super Typhoon Yutu, which struck late October 2018, but he noted that everyday is the time to “invigorate our efforts toward helping others.”

“An organization that is always at the forefront in these efforts is the American Red Cross. On behalf of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and our community, thank you American Red Cross,” he added.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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