ICBA - News - News Release - ICBA Forms Alliance with American Red Cross<br><i>Community banks can serve as official Red Cross donation sites</i>
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ICBA Forms Alliance with American Red Cross
Community banks can serve as official Red Cross donation sites

Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2005) - Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and the American Red Cross today announced they will join forces to encourage community banks and their customers to support the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. This unique partnership will facilitate relationships between local Red Cross chapters and community banks and will make it simple and convenient for community bank customers to help those served by the Red Cross.

ICBA members will be able to partner by participating in the Your Help Counts customer donation program-a signature program of the Red Cross that allows businesses to serve as official Red Cross donation sites. The partnership will provide ICBA members the opportunity to easily register online in order to implement Your Help Counts to benefit disaster relief or their local Red Cross chapter.

"Americans are the most generous people in the world," said Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. "This partnership provides yet another convenient way for Americans to help their neighbors across town or across the world, and we appreciate the leadership of ICBA and its members in making this happen."

Community banking customers will be able to easily and safely donate to the Red Cross. This is valuable since marketing studies show that 41 percent of Red Cross donors overall would prefer to make their donations at a local business.

"Community banks have always been leaders in the communities they serve, and the ICBA's partnership with the American Red Cross allows our members to take that one step further," said Cam Fine, ICBA President and CEO. "By working with the Red Cross in their humanitarian efforts, community bankers provide yet another example of how they are able to help."

"I'm thrilled that these two great American community institutions are working together to help local communities nationwide," said Sanford A. Belden, President and CEO of Community Bank Systems, Inc., and member of the American Red Cross Board of Governors. "This partnership demonstrates that community bankers are also community leaders by helping America's favorite charity, the American Red Cross."

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross is where people mobilize to help their neighbors-across the street, across the country, and across the world-in emergencies. Each year, in communities large and small, victims of some 70,000 disasters turn to neighbors familiar and new--the nearly one million volunteers and 35,000 employees of the Red Cross. Through almost 900 locally supported chapters, more than 15 million people gain the skills they need to prepare for and respond to emergencies in their homes, communities and world. Some four million people give blood-the gift of life-through the Red Cross, making it the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. And the Red Cross helps thousands of U.S. service members separated from their families by military duty stay connected. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, a global network of 181 national societies, the Red Cross helps restore hope and dignity to the world's most vulnerable people. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. Marsha J. Evans is the President and CEO of the American Red Cross.