Volunteers Commemorate Dr. King by Providing Lifesaving Fire Safety Information


American Red Cross volunteers will canvass local neighborhoods to distribute fire prevention and safety tips.

“Life’s most persistent question,” Dr. King once asked, “is what are you doing for others?” This Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, American Red Cross volunteers are doing a lot for others in their local communities. They are distributing vital fire safety information to help residents prevent home fires, protect their loved ones and strengthen their community.

Who:  Dozens of volunteers from the American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization that helps people prepare, prevent and respond to emergencies, will join Iola Fire Department volunteers, Ripon and Iron Mountain Boy Scout Troops, US Bank Ready When the Time Comes volunteers and disaster action team members.

What: Volunteers will canvass door-to-door throughout their local neighborhoods, talk with residents and leave behind door hangers with fire safety information. The door hangers include information about smoke alarms, creating a household fire escape plan and tips for cooking and heating a home safely this winter. This community program is being underwritten by a local Wal-Mart grant.

 When: Saturday, January 15, 2011,  9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Where:  Volunteers will canvass the following communities. Orientations will take place at 9:00 a.m. at the closest locations to the communities:

  • Red Cross office, 272 N. Main St., Fond du Lac, WI

Contact: Joyce Keyes  920-960-2545

  • Fond du Lac
  • Ripon
  • Red Cross office (lower level training room), 181 E. North Water St., Neenah, WI

Contact: Paul Fruit  608-215-0354

  • Neenah
  • Menasha
  • Red Cross office, 427 S. Stephenson Ave., Iron Mountain, MI

Contact: Ginny Gibson  727-743-0897

  • Iron Mountain, MI
  • Red Cross office, 418 School St., Waupaca, WI

Contact: Jim Kirk  715-513-0301

  • Waupaca
  • Iola
  • Berlin Public Library (upstairs classroom), 121 West Park Ave., Berlin, WI

Contact: Nick Cluppert  920-642-0089

  • Berlin

“Little Hero – Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event

Created: Jan 10, 2011, by Kristin Kent, WFRV-TV 5

First Aid and Preparedness supports Be Red Cross Ready, a nationwide initiative launched by the Red Cross to help prepare for emergencies and disasters before they happen. This initiative challenges each person to take three actions to help make their families, workplaces, schools and neighborhoods safer:
 Get a kit
 Make a plan.
 Be informed.

Kimberly High School DECA (An association of Marketing Students) has joined forces with the American Red Cross – Outagamie Chapter to help families in the community prepare for an emergency, while raising funds to facilitate the purchase of a generator to power the chapter in the event of a disaster in Outagamie County, allowing the chapter to meet the needs of the community while faced with a power outage. The proceeds from the “Little Hero-Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event will benefit the chapter’s generator fundraising efforts.

Garrett Nelson, Hayden Hoffmann, and Curtis Schwister, 3 Kimberly High School Students have organized the “Little Hero-Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event within their community. The “Little Hero-Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event includes age-appropriate Basic Aid Training & Babysitter Training that will be taught to children while their parents, high school age siblings, teachers, or other community members are also being trained in CPR/AED & First Aid. The entire family can walk away from this event Red Cross Ready!

Basic skills, such as CPR and knowing what to do if someone is choking, SAVE LIVES. Research shows that the shorter the time from collapse to when CPR is initiated and the first shock from an automated external defibrillator (AED) is given, the greater the chance of survival of cardiac arrest. Protect your loved ones with American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and Babysitter training today!

To register your family for the “Little Hero Big-Hero” Family Preparedness Event, please contact the American Red Cross Outagamie County Chapter at (920) 733-4481.

Pre-Registration is required.

Date: Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Lunch is Provided!
Location: Sunrise Elementary School, N9363 Exploration Avenue, Appleton, WI 54915

Babysitter Training: $55.00 Per Person 10-15 Year Olds
Basic Aid Training: $15.00 Per Person 7-12 Year Olds
Adult, Child, Infant CPR/AED & First Aid Training: $60.00/Per Person 15 Years & Older

American Red Cross Issues One-Year Report on Haiti Relief and Recovery

Donations Made a Real Difference in Lives of Haitians Following 2010 Earthquake

The American Red Cross released a one-year report on how the Red Cross has helped hundreds of thousands of Haitian survivors after the January 2010 earthquake, what has been done to respond to new issues such as the cholera outbreak, and plans for the years ahead to support Haiti’s recovery.

“Thanks to the generous contributions of so many donors, people in Haiti are receiving immediate relief and resources, as well as the necessary support and training to help them recover and rebuild,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “Red Cross efforts saved lives and improved the quality of life for Haitians with emergency shelter, food, water, latrines, medical treatment and other supplies.”

“People in our community and across the country responded quickly to help Haiti, and these donations have made a real difference in the lives of Haitians,” said Steve Hansen, regional chapter executive. Support ranged from small elementary schools to the area’s largest employers; media partners raised funds with the help of the listeners and thousands texted their support as well.

The one-year report on Red Cross relief and recovery efforts in Haiti can be found at www.redcross.org/haiti.

Since the earthquake on January 12, 2010, the American Red Cross and the global Red Cross network have provided:

  • Medical care for nearly 217,000 patients
  • Cash grants and loans to help 220,000 people
  • Latrines for 265,000 people
  • Daily drinking water for more than 317,000 people
  • Emergency shelter materials for more than 860,000 people
  • Vaccinations for nearly 1 million people
  • Food for 1.3 million people for one month

Since the earthquake struck Haiti, the American Red Cross has raised approximately $479 million nationally for the Haiti relief and recovery efforts, including more than $32 million from the record-setting text donation program.

At the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, the Red Cross expects to have spent and signed agreements to spend $245 million, which is more than half of what has been raised. Specifically, 30 percent of the money will have been spent on emergency shelter and basic homes; 26 percent on food and emergency services; 15 percent on providing clean water and sanitation; 13 percent on health and disease prevention programs; 10 percent on livelihoods and host family assistance; and 6 percent on disaster preparedness activities.

The remainder of the money will go to longer-term recovery over the next several years, with spending plans likely to evolve to respond to changing needs.

In addition to responding to the earthquake and its aftermath, the Red Cross worked to provide help following the cholera outbreak last fall. The American Red Cross has spent more than $4.5 million and plans to spend at least another $10 million to fight the spread of cholera.  

One of the big challenges facing the Red Cross and other non-profit organizations is finding land to get people out of camps and into transitional homes. It has been difficult for the Haitian government to determine exactly who owns the land and where these homes would be built. Much of the available land is covered with tons of rubble that must be removed, and there is not enough heavy equipment in Haiti to do this quickly. In addition, the government, which would take a lead role on much of the land ownership and rubble removal, was severely affected by the earthquake.

Overall, the American Red Cross expects to spend about $100 million of the remaining funds on construction of permanent homes and community development projects. These efforts, which will unfold over the next few years, will depend on several outside factors including the availability of appropriate land and the coordination of infrastructure, livelihoods and community centers.

“The Red Cross will continue to spend the money entrusted to us by the American people in the most responsible way possible to help Haiti and its people,” McGovern said.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.


Soup’s On Event a Tasty way to Aid Outagamie Chapter of American Red Cross

January 9, 2011: Appleton Post Cresent

As winter’s grip tightens, the yearning for a hot, delicious bowl of soup grows.

The Outagamie Chapter of the American Red Cross will hold its 17th annual Soup’s On fundraising event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at the Grand Meridian, 2621 N. Oneida St., Appleton.

Each year, the event raises funds for the many services provided by the Outagamie Chapter, including disaster services, support and comfort for military members and their families, health and safety training and shopping and errand services for disabled and elderly residents.

The event will feature soup from 12 local restaurants: CSI/Appleton, Mark’s East Side, Grand Meridian, Butte des Morts Country Club, Michiels Fox Banquets, Flanagan’s Wine Review, Atlas Coffee Mill, Plum Hill, The Seasons, North Shore Golf Club, Zuppas and Van Abel’s. The restaurants will provide award-winning soups to attendees, who will vote for the next winner of the Ladle Award.

The event will also include cheese from Simons Specialty Cheese, desserts from Simple Simon Bakery, breads from Great Harvest Bread Co., appetizers from McCain Foods, waffle treats from Culvers Frozen Custard, chocolates from Wilmar Chocolates, an assortment of beers and gourmet sodas provided by Stone Cellar Brew Pub, wine tasting provided by Flanagan’s Wine Review and entertainment from the Patty LeClair Trio, a Lawrence University jazz trio.

“We cannot thank participating restaurants and other donors enough for continuing to support our chapter’s biggest fundraising event each year,” said Tony Gonzalez, executive director of the Outagamie Chapter of the American Red Cross. “We are so grateful to be part of a community that looks forward to getting together each year for a night of fun and food to people who need vital Red Cross services.”

The evening’s master of ceremonies will be Len Nelson from WAPL radio. Attendees will also have the chance to buy tickets for the drop raffle to win artwork, wines and other prizes or to bid in the silent auction to win jewelry, artwork and golf getaway packages.

ABC’s “The Bachelor” Partners with the American Red Cross to Raise Awareness about the Importance of Blood Donations During National Blood Donor Month

In conjunction with the new season of ABC’s “The Bachelor,” the American Red Cross is joining forces with the show to remind everyone about the importance of donating blood.

This season’s Bachelor, Brad Womack, along with several former Bachelors and Bachelorettes will be visiting select blood drives in Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia and Chicago during the month of January, National Blood Donor Month. The talent will be on site to thank blood donors for their generosity and to encourage individuals to donate blood through the American Red Cross to help save lives.

The initiative will run throughout the month of January. ABC’s “The Bachelor” premiered on January 3 and the episode featuring blood donations will air on Monday, January 10, at 7:00 pm.

“I’m a proud blood donor myself,” said Womack. “Working with the Red Cross on this lifesaving initiative provides me with the opportunity to talk about the vital need for blood donations, especially during the winter months. Giving blood is easy to do and helps save lives.”

“This partnership with ABC’s ‘The Bachelor’ offers the Red Cross a unique opportunity to engage blood donors,” said Stephanie Millian, spokesperson for the American Red Cross. “Patients undergoing treatment for various illnesses and injuries depend on blood being available when they need it and ‘The Bachelor’ is helping to raise awareness of this need.”

As part of our continuing effort to help, Brad and Chris Harrison, along with former cast members will be on hand at the Woodland Hills Red Cross Donor Center on Saturday, January 8th to support a local blood drive.

The address is:
The American Red Cross
6338 Variel Ave.
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
7:00 am – 2:00 pm

Other participating Bachelor blood drives include:

PHILADELPHIA with Gia Allemand, Gwen Gioia, Reid Rosenthal, Craig Robinson and others…
Saturday, January 15, 2011
Philadelphia Donor Center
700 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
7:00 am – 2:00 pm

DALLAS with Sarah Brice, Sadie Murray, Tanner Pope, Brian Westendorf and others…
Saturday, January 22, 2011
University of Texas at Dallas
800 West Campbell Road
Richardson, TX 75080
Noon – 4:00 pm

Former Bachelorette Jillian Harris will also be doing her part in Chicago on Monday, January 24, supporting a blood drive along with some other Bachelor alumni. Here’s the address:

Loyola University Lakeshore Campus
Coffey Hall
McCormick Lounge, 1000 W. Sheridan
Chicago, IL 60626
11:00 am – 5:00 pm

To make an appointment to donate at one of the four blood drives listed above, visit redcrossblood.org and click on the dark blue “Make a blood donation appointment” section. On that new page, enter the sponsor code “BACHELOR”.

If you don’t live in the above cities, you can still give blood in your community. Visit redcrossblood.org to find a convenient location near you.

About “The Bachelor”:
In the hit primetime reality seriesThe Bachelor, one lucky man is offered the chance to find true love. The single and eligible Bachelor embarks on a romantic journey, getting to know a bevy of beautiful bachelorettes, gradually narrowing the field to the one woman to whom he may propose marriage in the dramatic season finale. Hosted by Chris Harrison, The Bachelor is produced by Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Looking Back on 2010 and Looking Forward to 2011!

Guest Blog Post: Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director, American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter

One of my other 2010 highlights...Meeting Blake Mycoskie, Founder/CEO of TOMS Shoes

It is hard to believe that we are one week into the New Year! With any new year, I try to personally and professionally reflect back on what I am most proud of and write down goals for the upcoming year. I hope you don’t mind as I share some of my thoughts with you.

When I look back on 2010 at first glance it seems to be a blur. As I think back, professionally and personally, my greatest reward of 2010 was the ability to attend the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New York City. Being around 5,000 individuals who share the same passion, drive and dedication to serving the volunteer workforce was inspiring to be around. It solidified for me, once again, that I’m exactly in the profession that I should be!

2010 was also a year of growth for engaging young adults with the Red Cross through the UWGB Red Cross Club. The club was started in the spring of 2009 and at the end of fall semester 2010 our group doubled in size to 40 club members. The group continues to be active participants in community events and projects that help to further the mission and goals of the American Red Cross.

Finally, when I look back on 2010, I’m very proud of the growth and collaboration that has occurred across the four chapters that make up our Northeast WI Region. We have consolidated our social media sites (facebook, twitter, blog) so the community can “follow” one Red Cross to get a clear, concise and accurate message. Through collaboration of staff and volunteers working together we continue to increase visibility in the community by doing a better job of telling our story!

What are my goals personally and professionally for 2011? Personally, I’m always trying to learn new things and experience different opportunities. Being inspired everyday by our amazing volunteers, I’ve decided that in August, I’ll embark on what I think will be one of the greatest volunteer adventures of a lifetime. I’m going to spend 11 days helping on a mission trip to Swaziland, Africa!

I see the needs within our community, across the US and across the globe everyday by working for the American Red Cross. Seeing those needs has made me want to be able to make a global impact on our world as well.  

Here I am with part of the Red Cross Club at our Red Cross Awareness Concert with Rob Anthony.

Professionally, I’d like to see continued growth in engaging young adults with the mission of the American Red Cross. I’m also excited to see how we can expand the reach of telling our story throughout the community with the new consolidated social media channels. Finally, I hope we can continue to reach those in the community to help them learn the importance of being prepared.

In March I’ll be celebrating my 10th anniversary with the American Red Cross. In that time I have met some incredible people and made life-long friends. I’ve also seen lots of changes, and shed some tears along the way. For the most part, it’s been an amazing ride and I look forward to seeing what 2011 has in store. Thank you for reading and thank you for giving of your time, talent and financial support to the American Red Cross.

Me and Blanche at her 94th Birthday! She's our oldest Volunteer at the Red Cross.

Red Cross Responds to Two House Fires over the Weekend

Fire Crews at the East Mason Street Fire on January 6, 2011. Nine people displaced, and Red Cross assisted eight.

The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter responded to a house fire in Wrightstown around 6:30pm on Saturday, January 8, displacing six people. Two Red Cross volunteers were on the scene to assist the three adults, two teens, and one child with their immediate emergency needs.

We provided hotel stay and monetary assistance for clothing and food. We also provided comfort kits (which include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, comb, facial tissue, deodorant, razors, shaving cream and lotion) and homemade quilts to all family members.

This morning around 6:30am we received another call of a house fire on Doty St on the East side of Green Bay affecting 9 adults. Two Red Cross volunteers assisted 8 adults with monetary assistance for clothing and food. All clients also received comfort kits and homemade quilts. They all had friends or relatives to stay with.

One individual did not utilize Red Cross services.

This makes for the fourth fire response the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter has assisted at since the New Year. In total from the four incidences we have helped 27 people with their immediate emergency needs

We need your help! Red Cross disaster assistance is free and is made possible by community donations. You can help individuals of this disaster and others by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter for local disaster relief. For information call the Lakeland Chapter at 920-468-8535 or visit www.arclakeland.org.

Blood Donor Spotlight: Milton Van Lanen

Milton Van Lanen has been donating blood to the Red Cross so long he can’t remember when he started and has been donating platelets since 2008. Last June, Milton stopped to donate platelets after church on a Sunday. He probably thought he was going to make a donation that would save a life but didn’t expect it to be his own.

Apheresis (platelet donation) is similar to giving blood but a machine separates out the platelets and the rest of the red blood cells and other components are returned to the donor. Many patients who need platelets are undergoing chemotherapy or organ transplant and have weakened immune systems. Area hospitals rely on the Red Cross and donors to keep the supply constant, as the shelf life is only 5 days.  Platelets can be donated every two weeks.

The Red Cross routinely performs preliminary tests prior to a donation but this time they asked Milton if he had ever been told he had an irregular heartbeat. Milton hadn’t so it was suggested he talk to his doctor.

The preliminary tests prior to a donation can sometimes find indicators that a donor should talk to their doctor. They may reveal low iron, high blood pressure, low blood pressure or an erratic pulse. “It doesn’t happen a lot but when it does it gives our nursing staff a good feeling to know they picked up on something the donor can then have furthered checked out,” says Marcia Liethen, Apheresis Recruitment Support Specialist.

Milton went to see his regular doctor who referred him to a specialist. After running some tests it was determined that Milton had partial blockage in a front artery and a back artery, which could be fixed by a routine surgery. They scheduled the surgery for 6:00am and he was told he should be recovering by the afternoon. A worse case scenario might mean an overnight stay.

When Milton awoke from the surgery he saw his wife sitting in the hospital chair wiping tears from her face. They were both shocked to learn Milton would need open heart surgery… a double bypass surgery. “There were no symptoms. I was fine.”

The doctor told Milton he might have never had symptoms if the Red Cross Nursing Staff hadn’t found it. “I was lucky I went to give platelets otherwise I might not be here,” says Milton.

“Now there is no irregular heartbeat and I feel just fine.” Milton says he is just waiting for the ok from his doctor so that he can start donating at the Red Cross again.

Milton says it’s important to donate and volunteer in the community. He volunteers at St Vincent De Paul 2-5 times a week and during milder months volunteers at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Arboretum. “It keeps me out of mischief.”

Milton’s wife, Jean, also a volunteer, sees the value of giving back to the community and is happy her husband went to give platelets that day. “I always tell him it’s because of all the good he does that he’s still here with us.”

Red Cross Helps Seven Displaced from Apartment Fire on East Side of Green Bay

Fire Crews at the scene. Photo Doug Harvey/American Red Cross

The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter responded to a six-unit apartment fire at the East Mason St. Apartments in Green Bay around 8:30pm Thursday, January 6. Eleven American Red Cross disaster workers assisted the six adults and one infant displaced by the fire with their immediate emergency needs.

We provided two adults and one infant with hotel stay, monetary assistance for clothing, infant supplies, seasonal garments and food.

The other four adults had friends or family to stay with. We provided them with monetary assistance for clothes and food.

We also provided all clients with comfort kits (which include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, comb, facial tissue, deodorant, razors, shaving cream and lotion) and homemade quilts.

There were two individuals displaced from the fire that, at this time, did not request Red Cross assistance.

Red Cross volunteers also provided emergency crews and clients with water, coffee, snacks and sandwiches to provide them with comfort and support while at the scene.

Red Cross disaster assistance is free and is made possible by community donations. You can help individuals of this disaster and others by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter for local disaster relief. For information call the Lakeland Chapter at 920-468-8535 or visit www.arclakeland.org.

Green Bay area businesses cope with raising gas costs

By Caroline Rowland, WFRV News, created Jan 6, 2011,  Click HERE for link to video.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — In Green Bay, gas prices are slightly above the national average at $3.14 per gallon, and the steady rise is talking it’s toll on local businesses.

At Schroeder’s Flowers, the delivery drivers are always on the go. “Its 75 to 150 deliveries on a typical day. The most I’ve ever done in one day was 1,575,” said owner Charles Schroeder.

The company spends between $4,000 and $15,000 dollars a month on gas. When gas prices goes up the store eats the extra costs.

U & I Movers had to add a fuel surcharge to it’s moving costs that ranges between five and 10 percent.

“When you add that to a cost of a move, it’s almost a couple hundred dollars you have to add on to the move,” said owner Scott Isable.

The fuel surcharge is higher now than two years ago, when gas was $4 a gallon, because business was better back then.

“You, a lot of times, eat a big share of the fuel surcharge,” Isable said.

Non profits are some of the hardest hit businesses, especially organizations like The Red Cross who have a fleet of cars that are always on the road.

“Every time that gas goes up, that expense increases for us,” said Steven Maricque, Executive Directer of the Red Cross Lakeland Chapter.

The Lakeland Red Cross Chapter spends $100,000 annually on gas. If gas stays below $3.50 per gallon it’s budget will be fine. But Maricque says things will change if the price continues to rise.

“Then we’re going to have to make some drastic changes as to how we support the program,” Maricque said.

Schroeder’s is also looking to the future and may get away from gas run vehicles.

“I think that’s probably the answer, have more efficient vehicles,” Schroeder said. For now, the flower shop will deal with the extra costs as best as it can.

The rising gas prices are showing no sign of slowing down. Some analysts project the price could reach $3.75 a gallon by spring.