In praise of those who come to help

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Wisely, the Red Cross knows how to partner with organizations that already have the facilities and systems that help those in need on Long Island, and it provides grants to such groups as Island Harvest, the Community Development Corporation of Long Island, the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island, the United Way (which in turn funds Freeport Pride and the Friedberg JCC, among others), FEGS Health & Human Services and the Disability Opportunity Fund.

Thanks in whole or in part to the Red Cross of Long Island, children who lost so much school time because of Sandy are getting tutoring help, victims of house fires have a place to stay, hungry families are fed and people at their wits’ end as the result of tragedies can get counseling and financial assistance.

Consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer — call (646) 875-8051 or visit Or you can help your neighbors in other ways by donating blood. There is a critical shortage of blood, so now would be a great time to contact

If the Red Cross of Long Island isn’t where you want to devote your time and energies, some of the other organizations mentioned above could use your help, either as volunteers or through your generosity. To volunteer at Island Harvest, visit Stop in at your local firehouse to find out if the department is seeking new volunteers. Membership in a community organization brings with it many opportunities to serve your neighbors.

A great way to help: give blood

The American Red Cross is hosting a blood drive on March 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale.

Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and feel well on the day of the drive. Sixteen-year-olds may donate with parental consent. To schedule an appointment, go to or call (800) RED-CROSS (733-2767). Walk-in donors are also welcome.

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