#GIVING TUESDAY

Originally posted on American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin:

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On Tuesday, December 2, a national day of giving – #GivingTuesday– will kick off the holiday season.  In the same way that retail stores take part in Black Friday, #GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages businesses, individuals and families to support charitable activities.

At the American Red Cross, we will celebrate #GivingTuesday within the umbrella of our annual Holiday Campaign.  Now in its sixth year, our campaign taps people’s desire to Give Something that Means Something, inspiring acts of goodness and emphasizing that the holidays are about giving back.

By partnering with the Red Cross on #GivingTuesday and beyond, you can help make the holidays more meaningful. 

Click HERE to see how you can make a difference!

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Winter Weather Comes to Wisconsin, Are You Ready?

The winter season is slamming into Wisconsin and surrounding areas, causing frigid temperatures, icy roads, and a reason to start piling on layers of clothes. However, while many people have stocked up on groceries, they have not stocked up on their emergency kits! It is important to prepare for any disaster and emergency that could strike suddenly.

Making an emergency kit could not be easier, and more important for that safety of you and your family. An emergency kit contains items of use when there is a power outage, evacuation, or severe weather. Items you should include in your emergency kit include water, non-perishable food, flashlights, battery powered or hand crank radio, extra batteries, first aid kits, medications, multi-purpose tools, sanitation and personal hygiene items, copies of personal documents, emergency blankets, cell phones (and chargers), family and emergency contact information, extra cash, and map(s) of the area. While this seems like a lot of items to collect, they are all essential in an emergency.

In addition to having an emergency kit, it is important to follow emergency alerts on T.V. or radio to keep up-to-date information on the weather in your area. In the worst weather, the best thing to do is have”safety in place”. Stay inside and away from freezing temperatures. Warm up some tea or cocoa and enjoy the indoors! To learn more information, go to http://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm

By Liz Rogers, Disaster Public Affairs, Communications Intern

Red Cross Brings Home Fire Safety Awareness to Your Front Door!

Seven times a day someone dies in a home fire and a fire-related injury is reported every 40 minutes. That’s why the American Red Cross initiated a Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, with a goal to reduce these figures by 25 percent within five years.

The Red Cross in Stevens Point teamed up with the Stevens Point Fire Department and RSVP Saturday, October 11 to kick-off the program. Volunteers went door-to-door and installed smoke alarms in residents’ homes. They also provided home safety checklists, talked with residents about fire safety and helped them identify fire escape plans. This wasn’t just a local campaign, though. Red Cross chapters throughout the country were participating as well.

“It’s powerful when chapters across the nation do it together, as ‘One Red Cross’. It’s all of our initiative, we all own it,” said Wendy Savage, community chapter executive for the North Central Chapter of the Red Cross. “The neighborhood we targeted had 16 injuries and even fatalities in the past four years, which makes education even more important to residents. By having a working alarm and practicing a family escape plan, you cut your chances of dying in a fire by 50 percent.”

The Red Cross had gone door-to-door the week before to let residents know they would be installing smoke alarms. Red Cross workers weren’t the only ones excited about this campaign; many Stevens Point residents were thrilled the Red Cross had started the initiative. Ryan Hay, was glad the Red Cross had done this. “Even just knowing someone was coming to check in on my smoke detectors forced me beforehand to take stock of what I had.”

The lead Red Cross volunteer, John Grosman, for the Stevens Point campaign, knows first-hand how devastating a home fire can be. “I’m with the Red Cross because our house burned down when I was a kid. And there were no fire departments around, and nobody else came but the Red Cross. The fact that they can take the lead on this type of issue is great.”

Red Cross volunteers were in agreement the day was a success and are already looking forward to future events. “Down the line we may hear from a family who was saved by a smoke alarm we installed and maybe helping them make an evacuation plan could save lives. So, this is worth it,” Wendy concluded.

By Lindsey Puls, American Red Cross Volunteer

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Photo: Ryan Brockman and Catherine Nolan, American Red Cross disaster action team members install smoke alarms during the North Central Wisconsin Chapters Fire Canvassing Day in Stevens Point Wisconsin

Dying Mother Saves Son from Death

Originally posted on American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin:

Written by Barbara Behling, Communications Director

In honor of the many men and women who have served our country and continue to serve, we thank you today and everyday for your service. 

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Even from a deathbed, a mother can save a child. This was the case for Neil Starke, serving in the US Coast Guard during WWII. Thanks to the American Red Cross Services to Armed Forces program he was able to share her last breaths, a visit which also saved his own life.

In the heart of WWII, the USS El Paso was situated at 114° North & 120° East. From these decks, air & sea rescues off the Philippines coasts were conducted. It was in the heart of the fighting, he received a cablegram from the Red Cross which explained his father had fallen while riding a bus, with trauma to his head, he was sent…

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Special Thanks to Our Volunteers, Employees and Donors During Sandy

Originally posted on American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin:

By: Trevor Riggen, Vice President of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics, American Red Cross

hurricane-sandy09Today marks the two-year anniversary of one of the largest responses in the long and proud history of this organization. It was a storm and challenge so unique that they had to come up with a new name just to describe it – Superstorm Sandy.  It was a massive, powerful storm that hit the most densely populated area of the country at the tail end of hurricane season followed by falling temperatures, snow, and enormous need throughout the region.

I want to begin by saying thank you to each and every one of you who donated money or raised your hand to join in serving those in need during the long weeks that followed landfall and to the thousands more who have served in our ongoing recovery efforts. So much great work was done by…

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Red Cross Kicks Off New Campaign To Reduce Home Fire Deaths and Injuries

Originally posted on American Red Cross SE WI Blog:

Efforts will include installing smoke alarms and urging people to practice fire escape plans

10710893_10152718411990071_1668250310886687572_nThe American Red Cross announced today a new campaign throughout Wisconsin and across the country to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross campaign focuses on joining fire departments and community groups nationwide to install smoke alarms in communities with high numbers of fires and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

The Red Cross will begin with canvassing the Thurston Woods neighborhood in Milwaukee and Stevens Point on Saturday morning, October 11th. The Beloit community canvassing will…

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September Volunteer of the Month: Margaret Stine

We are pleased to announce Margaret Stine, Madison, WI, as September Volunteer of the Month at the American Red Cross.

After reading a newspaper article about a unique need following a large apartment fire on Madison’s south side, Margaret Stine first became interested in joining the American Red Cross. The article mentioned that many of the families spoke only Spanish and additional bilingual Red Cross disaster responders were needed. Being a fluent Spanish speaker, Margaret started volunteering in 2005. She responds to local disasters, such as home fires, and has also worked on local large-scale disasters as a caseworker, completing the paperwork needed to offer assistance.

“When we need a Spanish speaking caseworker, Margaret is the first person who comes to mind. She is always willing to help.” Marytha Blanchard, Disaster Program Officer, noted. “She often completes cases over the phone, giving support and assistance to disaster clients throughout western Wisconsin.”

Additionally, Margaret reviewed and translated casework forms and documents into Spanish. She also volunteers with Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces, often working for the Badger Honor Flights.

One of Margaret’s favorite parts of volunteering is seeing how grateful clients are for Red Cross assistance, and their surprise at the comprehensive help they receive; food, clothing, shelter and additional services.

Her most memorable volunteer experience was interpreting for a family with two small children. They had just purchased and moved into their new condominium. On their first night in the new home, a kitchen fire (not in their kitchen) burned all of their belongings and home. The Red Cross helped navigate their recovery by providing direct assistance for food, shelter, and clothing; helped them work with friends who wanted to donate bedding and a local church that gave the family furniture, and the Red Cross helped guide the family through legal problems with their condominium. A few weeks later, Margaret was reunited with the family who visited to thank Margaret and the Red Cross and tell her they moved into their new home!

After becoming a volunteer she was surprised to discover that many of her friends were not aware of the variety of services the Red Cross provides free of charge. Margaret often tells recently retired friends about the rewarding work of the Red Cross, and that there are many ways to volunteer with the Red Cross in addition to a disaster response.

According to Margaret, “It is a great place to volunteer!”

Thanks to Margaret for communicating with our Spanish speaking clients and for improving our ability to serve all clients!

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