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Honoring The American Red Cross, South Florida Region

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart

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Madam Speaker, just this week, Congress declared March as Red Cross Month. Today I rise to honor the American Red Cross, South Florida Region chapter and its leadership. Since 1917, this chapter has been mobilizing South Floridians to aid those in need and has provided relief in times of crisis.

The American Red Cross is a community funded and supported organization, which arrives on the scene of an emergency, natural disaster or catastrophic event, almost immediately, to offer moral and material support. Volunteers assist all disaster victims, whether that disaster is a house fire or a storm.

Time and time again the South Florida chapter has been at the forefront of meeting our community needs. Last year, they responded to 388 local disasters, providing 727 families with direct emergency assistance. Most recently, the South Florida chapter has played a leading role in providing aid and relief to the people of Haiti in the aftermath of the earthquake. The chapter helped in sending more than 80 American Red Cross Creole-speaking volunteer translators to Haiti to support the medical mission of the USNS Comfort. The chapter also fielded volunteers at the three airports in our region to greet and offer assistance to repatriated Haitian Americans, and the Chapter's headquarter office was responding to an average of 500 calls daily in the wake of the earthquake.

Under their excellent leadership the South Florida chapter staff works with professionalism every day and is dedicated to helping those in need. They are local community heroes. As we celebrate Red Cross Month, I thank the South Florida chapter for its service and congratulate its leadership, staff and members for their continued success. I am honored to recognize them and their work and appreciate their invaluable contributions to our community.