Melanie Tschida is the executive director of the Southeast Minnesota Chapter of the American Red Cross and visits with us this morning on AM Minnesota.

The American Red Cross is probably most famous for their blood drives, but they also have the duty of contacting soldiers when urgent information needs to be delivered to them about happenings back home.

They also offer swimming lessons, and the Red Cross assists families in tragedies whether they be a fire in the home or a natural disaster like a tornado or flooding.

A of couple years ago the Faribault office and a number of other local offices were closed and the Rochester office now handles those areas. We will discuss the necessity for the move and what has happened with the most recent flood relief in southeast Minnesota.

The Red Cross still needs volunteers in the communities where there is no office and we will get details about what jobs volunteers are needed for as well as a listing of upcoming area blood drives.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and more than 1.6 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year; 246,000 of them will be invasive breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Cancer patients may need blood during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment complications.

The Red Cross must collect 14,000 blood donations every day to help patients, and volunteers are the only source of blood products for those needing transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed.

There is a blood drive today at Bernie's Grill in downtown Faribault from noon to 6PM.

Tomorrow a blood drive will be at the Northfield Senior Center 1-7PM, Wednesday and Thursday at St. Olaf College in Northfield in the Buntrock Commons building.

Or you can give blood in Dodge Center tomorrow from 1-7PM at the American Legion and also tomorrow at the American Legion Post 79 in Montgomery from 1-7PM.

I hope you will tune in at 9:30AM or go to and watch the program.

Gordy Kosfeld / Townsquare Media

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