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The American Red Cross - Gratiot County

The Gratiot County Red Cross joined with the Mid-Michigan Red Cross, headquartered in Lansing, eight years ago. Among the counties included are Shiawassee, Gratiot, Clinton and Eaton counties.

"We all work together," volunteer Lynne Ludy said. "It is especially helpful in times of big disasters because we might not have enough resources to be able to respond adequately. But the counties together have a lot of resources."

There is always a need for volunteers for blood drives. There is always a blood drive on the first Tuesday of each month.

"We solicit donations, financial contributions even more so this time of year, especially for disaster services - this is the worst time for fires," she said. "If there is a fire and people have no place to go, nothing to wear, nothing to eat. That's what we do; we supply everything."

People can donate either through the agency's secure Web site (www.midmichiganredcross.org) or simply by sending a check to Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross at 205 E. Superior St, Alma, Mich.

"They can also find a lot of information at our Web site about keeping safe in the winter," Ludy said.

Red Cross - Central Michigan Chapter

A group got together in 1917 and started a Red Cross chapter in Mt. Pleasant and later on that year it was actually recognized as a chapter by national headquarters.

There are two types of donations the Red Cross is in need of during the holidays, said Dave Weston, community coordinator.

The first are monetary donations, so that the Red Cross can complete its mission in the area, which is Isabella and Clare counties. And that's for disaster services. The funds are also used for its food pantry to purchase food they might not have.

And the other type of donation is food for the food pantry.

If you'd like to volunteer with the Central Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross, visit the office at 215 E. Broadway St. and pick up a volunteer form to fill it out. In that form one of the pages is an area where the Red Cross lists all of their volunteer areas available.