CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (November 20, 2020) — The American Red Cross of Illinois is accepting nominations to honor exceptional individuals from our community. Everyday heroes who selflessly put the well-being of others before theirs. People who have demonstrated heroism through extraordinary acts of courage or kindness. Nominate your hero at redcross.org/hero by December 31, 2020.

“In 2020, we’ve seen people step up more now than ever to help our communities, we want to showcase what they’ve done to help others in need,” said Trish Burnett, executive director of the American Red Cross Serving the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois.

The heroic act must have taken place during the 2020 calendar year or be ongoing. Candidates must live or work in the following counties:

Illinois

Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Christian, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, and Woodford.

Iowa

Lee, Muscatine, Scott, and Van Buren.

Missouri

Clark, Lewis, Marion, and Ralls.

Nominations are being accepted in the following 12 categories:

Blood Services Hero: The nominee can be an individual(s) or an organization that is involved in activity that creates awareness of the importance of blood donation in the community, helps to ensure a sufficient and safe blood supply is available to those in need, and/or acts as an activist for the blood community at large.

Disaster Services Hero: The nominee(s) is an individual who has exhibited heroic efforts in any or all of the areas of disaster services, including preparedness, response, or recovery during a natural disaster or emergency through mission-driven response assistance to people in need. The nominee has exhibited heroism in response to an emergency situation or is involved in an ongoing commitment to a community that experienced a disaster through an act/s of kindness, courage, or unselfishness in response to an identified need.

Education Hero: The nominee(s) has displayed leadership and commitment to their community by making a positive and significant impact, and through their efforts has exhibited heroic efforts to increase access to education during COVID-19. This nominee(s) could be, but not limited to, a practicing teacher, school administrator, day-care provider, or student organization.

Essential Services Hero:  This nominee(s) has served in an essential services role or ensured access to essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples could include, but not limited to: public-transportation operators, food-services employees, postal and shipping services, or critical trades such as plumbing, electricians, and janitorial staff. For a full listing of qualified essential services, please visit here.

Firefighter Hero: The nominee(s) is a professional, reserve, or volunteer firefighter, or medical personnel related to the dispatch operations of a fire department. The nominee could have been on- or off-duty at the time of the incident. The nominee either exhibited heroism in their response to an emergency situation or the nominee is involved in an ongoing commitment to the community through an act/s of kindness, courage, or unselfishness in response to an identified need.

Global Citizenship Hero: The nominee(s) has volunteered or worked to address the needs of the world’s vulnerable and unjustly-treated populations by building safer, more resilient communities and providing needed relief. The eligible nominee must be from the American Red Cross of Illinois area, but may have conducted their service locally, nationally, and/or internationally to assist the individuals in need.

Healthcare Hero: The nominee(s) is a licensed and practicing medical professional, medical student, or retired medical professional. The nominee could have been on- or off-duty at the time of the incident. The nominee either exhibited heroism in their response to an emergency situation, ongoing medical need including COVID-19, or ongoing commitment to the community through an act/s of kindness, courage, or unselfishness in response to an identified need.

Law Enforcement Hero: The nominee(s) is a professional police officer or related law-enforcement official. The nominee could have been on- or off-duty at the time of the incident. The nominee either exhibited heroism in their response to an emergency situation or the nominee is involved in an ongoing situation in which a commitment is made to the community through an act/s of kindness, courage, or unselfishness in response to an identified need.

Lifesaving Rescue Hero: The nominee(s) has performed an act of heroism involving an unusual, significant, or unexpected incident requiring a courageous or unselfish reaction in a time of need that ultimately was resolved in the saving of another person’s life.

Military Hero: The nominee(s) is a US service member (active duty and/or reserve components), veteran, military supporter, or organization that serves the military community. The eligible nominee(s) could have been on- or off-duty at the time of the heroic event. The situation does not have to be associated with the use of skills directly related to their profession. The nominee either exhibited heroism in their response to an emergency situation or the nominee is involved in an ongoing commitment to the community through an act/s of kindness, courage, or unselfishness in response to an identified need.

Social Justice Impact Hero: The nominee(s) has displayed leadership and commitment to their/our community by recognizing a need, making a positive and significant impact through their efforts to propel social change. The nominee values human rights and the dignity of all.Youth Hero: The nominee(s) must be 17 years old or under at the time of the incident or act. The eligible nominee(s) has performed an act of heroism involving an unusual, significant, or unexpected incident requiring a courageous or unselfish reaction in a crisis or time of need. The nominee(s) can be involved in an on-going commitment to the community through an act/s of kindness, courage, or unselfishness in response to an identified need.

Videos featuring last year’s local Red Cross heroes can be viewed on our You Tube Channel.

About the American Red Cross of Illinois

The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Christian, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, and Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott, and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion, and Ralls. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at Redcross.org/Illinois or visit us on Twitter @RedCrossIL.

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