Detroit Regional Chamber > Member News > Red Cross Month Kicks Off to Honor Community Heroes

Red Cross Month Kicks Off to Honor Community Heroes

February 27, 2024
DETROIT (Feb. 27, 2024) – The American Red Cross recognizes March as Red Cross Month, an annual tradition that celebrates the humanitarian spirit of community heroes like Kathleen (Katy) Davis and her certified therapy dog Maggie.

Davis and Maggie, a golden retriever, are volunteers for the Red Cross Animal Visitation Program, which provides comfort and emotional support to military members, veterans, and their families. The program is part of the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces.

Davis and Maggie can be seen at the Selfridge and Battle Creek Air National Guard bases and at Yellow Ribbon events at which service members are preparing for or returning from deployment. They also attend veterans events and visit military members who are hospitalized or receiving care at Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

“Maggie and I really enjoy what we do with the military community,” said Davis, who also owns a second therapy dog, Sunny, also a golden retriever. “Maggie brings not only a smile to someone’s face, but she also has a calming and comforting disposition. Therapy dogs encourage connection and communication, and they accept people for who they are and pay no attention to their age or mental or physical ability.”

For more than 80 years the Red Cross has celebrated March as Red Cross Month to honor the humanitarian spirit of ordinary individuals who provide help and hope to individuals and families in need. The tradition began in March 1943 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month Proclamation. The tradition has been continued by every U.S. president since.

“During Red Cross Month, we are proud to honor the people in our community who step up to support one another when help can’t wait,” said Mary Lynn Foster, regional chief executive officer of the Red Cross in Michigan. “This relief and hope would not be possible without local heroes like Kathleen and Maggie.”

Davis and Maggie are among thousands of local heroes in communities throughout Michigan who continue to advance the lifesaving legacy of Red Cross founder Clara Barton. These community heroes:

• Respond to home fires, climate disasters, and international crises.
• Donate lifesaving blood for those in need.
• Provide global support to help military members, veterans, and their families.
• Stand ready to use CPR, first aid, and other lifesaving skills learned at the Red Cross during an emergency.

Here’s how to support the Red Cross during Red Cross Month:

• Make a financial gift. Those who donate on March 27 will be part of the 10th annual Red Cross Giving Day to help provide shelter, food, relief items, emotional support, and other assistance for people affected by disasters. Donate at
• Donate blood. Make an appointment to give blood at Donors who give March 1-24 are automatically entered for a chance to win a $3,000 gift card. Five winners will be chosen.
• Volunteer. These positions are available, among others: blood ambassador, blood transportation specialist, caseworker for Service to the Armed Forces, and disaster response and assistance. Visit
• Take a lifesaving skills class. Classes include CPR, first aid and babysitting. Sign up at


MEDIA CONTACT: David Olejarz / / 313-303-0606

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit or, or follow us on social media.