Red Cross marks 25 years in district

The Alexandra and Districts branch of Red Cross will celebrate its 25th birthday with a lunch on March 10.

Branch secretary Jennifer Bowie said during the past 25 years, the branch had donated money to district schools to run first-aid courses, assisted fire victims, donated goods to the town's foodbank, provided knitted garments for children at the Roxburgh Health Camp and helped the Blood Service when it visited Alexandra.

‘‘We were also involved in helping the people affected by the wildfires and floods in 1999,'' Mrs Bowie said.

Donations had been made to national and international appeals as well, she said.

Last year, Red Cross joined forces with Victim Support to help people affected by personal trauma.

Red Cross suitcases, filled with enough blankets and clothing for a family, were donated to Victim Support in eight centres throughout Otago and Southland, including Alexandra.

The emergency clothing and blankets are for any family that had to be evacuated from their home for whatever reason and the items will be replaced as they are used.

The first area manager for Red Cross in Central Otago, Richard Garden, was appointed last year. His work includes providing first-aid courses and support to branches of the organisation.

In October the ‘‘Breakfast in Schools'' initiative was launched in Nightcaps, Southland. Children enjoyed a breakfast of cereal, toast and a hot drink, compliments of Red Cross, before going to classes.

‘‘Throughout the country, Red Cross is committed to making a difference to the lives of vulnerable people in our communities,'' Mrs Bowie said.

- The annual Red Cross postal appeal will be held from March 3 to 9, and donations can be posted to the address on the envelope.

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