The American Red Cross of Mid-Michigan delivered programs and services to those in Shiawassee County throughout 2018. Volunteers from Shiawassee County committed their time and talent to help alleviate human suffering, responding to local disasters, staffing blood drives, teaching lifesaving skills and delivering services to our armed forces  members and their families, making a difference for many in the community.

   Shiawassee American Red Cross volunteers provided support to 49 residents affected by local disasters, mostly home fires, in the past year. Nearly 180 times per day, the Red Cross responds to home fires and other disasters across the country. Red Cross disaster support provides health services, disaster mental health services, comfort items, shelter, food and financial assistance. Additionally, Red Cross volunteer canteen, providing food and beverages to first responders when events last for an extended period of time. The American Red Cross disaster team also assists the affected individuals and families through their recovery process.

   Residents of Shiawassee County were busy saving lives in 2018 by giving blood. Approximately 36,000 units of blood are needed every day in the United States, since every two seconds someone is in need of blood. One donation can save up to three lives. Over 2,600 units of blood were collected at local drives, helping ensure the Red Cross could deliver blood products to help meet the need.

   The Home Fire Campaign was launched in Owosso during the national Sound the Alarm initiative to install 100,000 smoke alarms across the country in 100 cities. In partnership with Owosso Township Fire Department, American Red Cross volunteers installed up to three smoke alarms in homes that did not have working ones. Additionally, residents learned safety and preparation tips to make their homes safer. Locally, almost 80 alarms were installed, making 30 homes safer. To date the program has saved 474 lives across the country.

   The American Red Cross and its volunteers provided emergency communication services to 11 deployed service members and their families and provided additional services to almost 50 military members across Shiawassee County. Training and certifying local community members in lifesaving skills rounded out American Red Cross service delivery in 2018, approximately, 170 individuals gained certification in CPR and First Aid programs, adding to the county’s emergency preparedness.

   The American Red Cross is grateful for its partnership with the Owosso Kiwanis Club who hosts the Camel Cup Races, annually, and donates the proceeds to support Red Cross service delivery throughout the county. In 2018, over 250 event goers watched 24 camels race, which raised over $8,000 to ensure these programs and services could be carried out. Save the date of March 23, 2019 and join us at D’Mar Banquet and Conference Center at 5:30 p.m. for the races, fun and festivities.

   “Thanks to the generosity of our volunteers, donors and community partners, the American Red Cross of Mid-Michigan continues to provide needed services throughout Shiawassee county, ultimately, alleviating human suffering throughout our community” said Kim Renwick, chairperson of the Shiawassee Red Cross council.

   The American Red Cross Mid-Michigan Chapter is proud to serve Shiawassee County. Over 91 percent of the American Red Cross workforce is volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering, learning more about the Camel Cup or need working smoke alarms, please contact the Shiawassee Red Cross office at (989) 743-6118. Persons can also register to volunteer at

Red Cross: Serving Shiawassee County in 2018 was last modified: December 31st, 2018 by Karen Elford