Red Cross set to honor the hometown heroes among us

Red Cross set to honor the hometown heroes among us

Whether it is providing CPR, caring for someone at an auto accident, rescuing someone from a fire or even the act of donating an organ to someone, there are many heroes throughout the area. The American Red Cross wants to honor those selfless acts of kindness through their Hometown Heroes nominating program, which is currently taking place.


Some people rush into a roaring inferno to rescue others. Sometimes people brave chilly waters to perform aquatic, life-saving procedures. People have given CPR at restaurants, pulled a struggling dog or deer out of icy waters, provided comfort to families following an automobile accident or given assistance to a neighbor during a flood. Others simply give of themselves through making a commitment to time and finances.

Heroes can come in many forms, and just like superheroes who swoop in and save the day, they go on about life as though it was nothing. Without question hometown heroes live among us.

Year after year, heroes crop up and perform feats of courage and compassion in helping out people they may not even know. While none of the people who step into danger’s way and perform acts of heroism in the heat of the moment do so for the glory and attention, they certainly deserve to be honored for their feats.

As a community leader in emergency preparedness and response, the American Red Cross believes these unsung heroes deserve to be recognized for their incredible feats.

Therefore the American Red Cross will present its Hometown Heroes program, which is designed to celebrate and honor local individuals who have acted courageously in a time of emergency.

Often at great risk to their own personal safety and well-being, these ordinary individuals chose to act in a heroic manner by reaching out to help others in times of greatest need. Due to their courage, tragedies were averted and lives were saved, and now the public has a chance to nominate these heroic Hometown Heroes.

“We believe that this is simply an extension of what the American Red Cross does on a daily basis in reaching out to help others in need,” said Kimberly Kroh, executive director of the American Red Cross Stark and Muskingum Lake Chapter. “We want to honor those people in our communities that have acted selflessly for the sake of someone else. While we haven’t done this for a couple of years, the Hero Award is really one of the Red Cross’ signature events because it honors a lot of people who are very worthy of our appreciation.”

What makes it even more special is that each of the honorees is nominated by someone in the community. If anyone knows a hero, from someone who has jumped into a frozen lake to pull a drowning child to safety simply because they saw it happening, to someone who administered CPR to an elderly neighbor, to even a four-footed friend that alerted its family to a fire, they are hometown heroes.

Kroh said acts of heroism aren’t defined by the magnitude of the event but rather by the person’s willingness to help others without thought of themselves.

“Hometown heroes come in all kinds,” Kroh said. “One year we honored a dog who pulled a young boy out of a frozen lake. Another one was a pair of boys who were watching TV and heard yelling and helped pull a gentleman out of a lake. Whether they are simply local citizens doing amazing things or professionals doing their job, we want to hear about their stories.”

Nominating them for their courage and display of compassion can be done on the American Red Cross website at Once there, scroll down toward the bottom of the page and click on the large square BASH Heroes icon. Scroll down from there and find the “Nominate Your Hero” red button, where a few minutes of filling out some information could well give your nominated hero the accolades he, she or even it deserves.

Kroh encourages people to think outside the box when it comes to nominating someone. Yes, the obvious burning building, CPR and accident scenarios are worthy, but she said animals have done some amazing things too, as well as selfless acts that some may never consider to be acts of heroism.

“Someone who gives a lot of time and money to local organizations in their community, they are a type of hero,” Kroh said. “We have one nomination where a woman gave a part of her liver to a relative, and that makes her a hero.”

The Stark and Muskingum Lakes Chapter is honoring community heroes of Stark, Tuscarawas, Carroll and Harrison counties who have acted courageously and selflessly in a time of emergency during the 2018 calendar year. The hero nominations will be presented to a judge’s panel, and the heroes will be selected in February 2019.

Kroh said they plan on honoring between five and eight Hometown Heroes this year, noting that there may well be cases where people have become Hometown Heroes using CPR or training techniques learned through the Red Cross.

Because helping others and savings lives is at the heart of what ARC does, American Red Cross wants to honor the heroes who live among us on a daily basis, and now is the time for everyone throughout the community to bring these heroes to light and give them the accolades they deserve.

If you know of a hometown hero, share their story by completing the nomination form on or before Jan. 31.

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