By Francis Scarcella

The Daily Item

MILTON—The American Red Cross is looking for donations to keep providing vital services to people suffering from disasters.

Tom Szulanczyk, executive director of the Milton Red Cross chapter, explained that even though the agency has drives throughout the year, help is much needed.

"We are always looking for help from our neighbors," he said. "We are trying to let the community know that we are here and ready to help in time of need."

According to Szulanczyk, the chapter is growing every day.

"We are planning to have many different drives coming up in order to help pay for different essential items needed in time of crisis," he said. "We use the money we raise to buy cots, blankets and whatever is needed when we set up temporary shelters."

The Red Cross has teamed up with St. Andrew's United Methodist Church in Milton to teach members how to help in times of catastrophe.

"We joined with the church to teach them exactly what is needed to do in a time of disaster," he said.

He said the chapter has received and packed more than 59 boxes of donated snacks, magazines and supplies to be sent to troops in Iraq.

"We had a good response, and we are proud to send the troops these items," he said.

The chapter will hold a blood drive from noon to 6 today in Christ Lutheran Church, Mahoning Street, Milton.

Donors must be at least 17, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Sixteen-year-olds may donate with parental permission. Double red cell collections will be available. Donors will be entered in a drawing for a three-day Carnival cruise for two. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS with eligibility questions and to schedule an appointment.

• E-mail comments to fscarcella@dailyitem.com.

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