Balog says the agency is well known for classes - from water safety to first aid training. But nothing would be possible without the volunteers and staff members who give so much of their time to helping others. And that's what Red Cross Month, celebrated in March, is all about.
"They are our heroes and without them we can't fulfill the mission," says Balog.
Throughout Otsego, Herkimer, and Oneida Counties the Mohawk Valley chapter has over 600 volunteers. During March, volunteers will be raising the Red Cross flag in various central New York communities. Those volunteers may give their time, may donate blood, or help financially - but it's something anyone can take part in whether it be one hour or one hundred hours. Balog told us about a senior citizen from our area who was hurt badly in world war two, and received blood from the Red Cross. To this day, despite his age, he volunteers whenever he can.
"And I hear story after story of people who have that local connection to the red cross, and many people don't realize they have that connection that their family or loved one has been helped by the red cross," explains Balog. "I think those are the kind of stories you know we have our great days and our bad days and when those days are not so good I think of people who have been a recipient of Red Cross services in more ways than they ever know."