Ways to volunteer – Fox 11 Good Day WI Live Segment

Updated: Monday, 28 Feb 2011, 9:10 AM CST
Published : Monday, 28 Feb 2011, 4:34 AM CST

Click on the photo to watch the 2 - live shots from this morning.

BROWN COUNTY – No matter what age, many people are encouraged to take time out of their daily routine and volunteer in their community.  FOX 11’s Emily Deem spent Monday morning checking out some local volunteer sites.

FOX 11 stopped by the American Red Cross and the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County, on Monday.

Volunteer Opportunities at the American Red Cross:

Disaster Action Team (DAT)
Assist individuals affected by local disasters (fires, floods, tornadoes, and other natural & man-made disasters)
Provide disaster preparedness information to the community
Opportunity for advanced training for those interested in assisting on national disaster assignments

Transportation Driver
Transport individuals 60 and over and those with disabilities in the Green Bay metro area to medical, nutrition, employment and social appointments
Must be at least 18 years of age
Have a good driving record
5-hour morning or afternoon shifts available
Car or van available to drive
Flexible schedule

Health and Safety Instructor
First Aid and CPR/AED
Babysitter’s Training
Flexible Schedule
Greet public and answer phones
Light office duties

Blood Drive Aid
Assist at blood drives in the registration or canteen area or a blood donor room aid

Communication and Marketing
Help in promoting the Red Cross story to local media
Public speaking—brief talks to organizations about Red Cross services
Assist with grant writing and research

Special Events/Fundraising
Assist with planning and coordination
Assist at events

The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Brown County is looking for people to help deliver meals in the area.

The home-bound meal program has been going strong for 30-years. The center delivers one meal a day to those that are “home bound”.

If you are interested in volunteering you must be at least 18-years or older. You are required to have a valid drivers license, provide your own vehicle and proper insurance.

To learn more about home bound meal drivers click here .

To volunteer in other areas in Northeast Wisconsin, click here .

Red Cross Asks People To Join During Red Cross Month

Organization Helping Those In Need For 130

March is Red Cross Month, and the American Red Cross is asking people to join them in helping those in need by volunteering their time, making a donation, taking a class, or giving blood.

“When someone provides a hot meal to a disaster victim, gives blood, takes a first aid class or helps someone in the military, they join the Red Cross,” said Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive. “We want to say ‘thank you’ to all who support us. That support enables us to provide help and hope to those who need our assistance.”

For nearly 100 years, U.S. Presidents have called on people to support the American Red Cross and its humanitarian mission. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to proclaim March as Red Cross Month in 1943. Since that time, President Obama and every president since have issued proclamations designating March as Red Cross Month.

The Red Cross has been helping people for 130 years, responding to disasters, assisting members of the military, teaching lifesaving skills and serving as one of the largest blood suppliers in the United States.

Nationally, the Red Cross responds to an average of nearly 200 disasters every day. The organization provides a round-the-clock link between those in the military and their families and supplies blood and blood products to approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

Across the Northeast Wisconsin Region, Red Cross chapters responded and provided assistance in 163 local disasters last year. The chapters served 676 military families, taught 45,503 individuals lifesaving skills, and collected 38,404 units of blood.

“We work very diligently to help those in need,” Hansen said. “Whether out on a disaster, alongside our troops, at a blood drive or in a first aid class, Red Cross workers touch the lives of millions of people every year.”

It’s hard to imagine a world without Heroes. They’re the drive behind every mission, the hope that aids disaster work. They are the gracious community-minded people that support the American Red Cross in so many ways.
Heroes for the American Red Cross is a grassroots campaign that invites local business people, school and church groups, civic clubs and individuals to pledge to raise $1,000 for their local Red Cross Chapter. We invite you to support your local Heroes, or become one yourself, beginning in the month of March.
It’s an extremely rewarding way to help the Red Cross help others – whether we’re providing shelter, food and emergency financial assistance to disaster victims; transmitting important messages to military members overseas; or training your community to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work.

“When people join the Red Cross by volunteering, donating blood, taking a course or making a contribution, they enable us to continue our work, both here at home and around the world,” Hansen said.

About the Northeast Wisconsin Region:

The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of four chapters serving 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Lakeland, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NewRedCross.org. We are also on Facebook (American Red Cross – Northeast Wisconsin Region) and Twitter (NEWRedCross). Our blog can be found at arcgbw.wordpress.com.

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.

Red Cross Brings Military Families Together

Kathryn Bracho

By Kathryn Bracho: Click HERE for video of story.

Last year, Action 2 News anchor Sarah Thomsen tore up the floor in the Dancing with the Stars fundraiser for the American Red Cross’s local Lakeland Chapter.

This year, Action 2 News morning anchor Kathryn Bracho steps out. Each vote for your favorite dancer is a donation to the Red Cross (click here for details).

It’s a fun experience and raised money for an organization which helps thousands of people across Northeast Wisconsin.

The Red Cross provides a service not many people know about.

Most of us know the Red Cross is there after disasters like Hurricane Katrina or, more locally, a fire at your home.

But you may not know the Red Cross helps hard-to-reach members of the military get news and the emergency leave time they need when big events happen in their families, like deaths, serious illnesses, and births.

“I am there to help people in any way I can,” Gayle Hein said.

Hein says she’s proud to be a Red Cross volunteer. She never realized that her own family would need help from the Red Cross.

“Right before Christmas, my nephew’s mother had passed away unexpectedly at 49.”

Hein’s nephew, Kenneth Lehr, of Watertown, Wisconsin, was stationed with the Army in Alaska.

Lehr knew about his mom’s death, but standard procedure is for the Red Cross to confirm a death, birth, or serious illness so that the military member can get emergency leave.

“I think it was a godsend to him to get him home and stuff. I think otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to come home.”

Gayle Hein (on the left) volunteering at the Marine Corp welcome home event.

Disaster Alert: Earthquake in New Zealand

A building in Christchurch, New Zealand, is destroyed after an earthquake struck Tuesday. (AP/Pam Johnson)

New Zealand

During the lunch-time rush hour today, New Zealand’s south island experienced a 6.3 magnitude earthquake – reportedly an aftershock of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which struck the same area on September 4, 2010.

Today’s earthquake has been followed by several aftershocks creating and compounding widespread damage throughout Christchurch. Authorities estimate the death toll has reached 65 and is expected to rise. Collapsed buildings in the center of the city and damage to roads and bridges have also been reported. Electricity supplies have been cut to about half of the city and Christchurch airport is closed.

Immediately, the New Zealand Red Cross began providing first aid assistance and distributing blankets to the displaced families. It has started national restoring family linking activities and opened one evacuation center for approximately 2,000 people.

As of now, the New Zealand Red Cross has not asked for international assistance, but is receiving some support from its neighbors – the Australian Red Cross – based on the preexisting regional agreements. We expect by tomorrow they will provide more information on whether international assistance from the American Red Cross will be needed. We’ll continue to update you as the American Red Cross role and this disaster evolves.

If you are concerned about relatives living and who have citizenship in New Zealand, please be patient and call repeatedly until the lines clear or contact other family members who live nearby. Telephone, Internet and other communication lines are often disrupted in times of disaster. You can also request assistance from the New Zealand Red Cross to help locate missing relatives by dialing +64 7 850 2199.

Google has launched its Person Finder site, which allows people in Christchurch to upload or request information about individuals for family linking purposes.
People trying to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in New Zealand should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.

To arrange media interviews with an American Red Cross spokesperson in New Zealand about the local earthquake response, please call 202-303-5551.

American Red Cross Commits $2.7 Million to Help 3,000 Haitian Children Return to School

Contact: Julie Sell
Spokesperson, – Haiti Delegation
American Red Cross
Phone: (509) 3488-5864

WASHINGTON, Tuesday, February 15, 2011 — The American Red Cross today announced it was spending $2.7 million to provide financial support for Haitian families affected by the January 2010 earthquake so their children can attend school.

An estimated 3,000 children in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Croix Deprez, a hilly area where many homes collapsed in the earthquake, are benefiting. The program, which targets children and youth ages five through 19, provides vouchers to cover the cost of school fees. In addition, participating families will receive a cash grant of $100 per child to cover the cost of school-related expenses, including transportation, uniforms and lunch.

“This is a terrific program,” said Matthew Marek, head of programs for the American Red Cross in Haiti. “Children get an education, and cash-strapped families can use their savings for other pressing needs.”

The program pays students’ school fees for the remainder of the current academic year. To be eligible for the school vouchers and cash grants, families must live in one of three camps in the Croix Deprez area, and have enrolled their children in primary or secondary school by a January 2011 deadline set by the Haitian government.

Nearly 200 area schools are participating in the program. Many of them lost a large number of fee-paying students after the earthquake because families could no longer afford to send their children to school. Now, thanks to the American Red Cross funding, they have the income to pay teachers and staff. The program is being implemented with approval from the Haitian Ministry of Education.

Haiti has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. One challenge for families is the lack of funds to pay for private schools, which make up the bulk of the Haitian education system.  In many cases, school fees exceed $140 per trimester per child. Prior to the earthquake, which left more than 230,000 dead and left more than 1.3 million homeless, more than two-thirds of the Haitian population lived on less than $2 a day.

The American Red Cross has long supported school-based initiatives in the U.S .and around the world. For decades, the organization has worked with and in schools on issues including disaster preparedness, health and safety education, food assistance and psychosocial support.

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.

Congratulations to Nancy Mirhashemi, Disaster Volunteer

Each year, the Chamber commends and highlights People You Should Know in its feature of the same name. This year, they asked for nominations of individuals in our community who Lead the Way in their corner of the world.  We are very proud to have Lead Disaster Volunteer, Nancy Mirhashemi, selected as one of the 20 community members highlighted in the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Bay Business Journal!

Continue reading to get to know a little bit more about Nancy, and the amazing work she does for the American Red Cross! Congratulations!

 In a paragraph or two, why did you think of this individual as one of this year’s People You Should Know? What’s his/her story?

It is Nancy’s dedication, commitment, and passion for her volunteer work as a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Team that made us think of her as someone “People Should Know.”

has been a volunteer for American Red Cross for five years. She started with the organization when she watched the devastation that was going on surrounding Hurricane Katrina, Wilma and Rita. The Red Cross put out a call for help and Nancy was there to answer it. Since her first national deployment to Florida for Hurricane Wilma, Nancy has gone out on two other national disaster assignments. These assignments are usually 2-3 weeks, and you leave at a moment’s notice when called upon. Because of a supportive family and spouse, she is able to answer the call for help both locally and nationally when needed. 

How does your nominee “Lead the Way” / exhibit innovativeness in his/her job?

Nancy “leads the way” through her volunteer work by being a mentor to new disaster team members and is a team leads for the disaster services department. What does this mean? As a lead, Nancy coordinates the relief efforts in disasters that affect Red Cross clients. She is on call two weeks of every month from 6:00am-6:00pm to respond to disasters anywhere in our eight county areas. A few examples of these disasters include: single and multiple family fires; Climatic events such as floods, snow/ice storms, tornados, hurricanes; and power outages. These types of disasters result in horrific situation, regardless of the severity.

One never knows what they may come across when they go to the scene of a disaster situation. This is the atmosphere in which Nancy excels in because of her calm nature, critical thinking skills, and flexible nature. An example of her creative thinking was the night of the Port Plaza fire three years ago. It was hard for the residents to identify who to go to for assistance with so many people at the scene. Nancy grabbed a jesters hat with bells hanging from the tips (that she happened to have in her car) and put it on her head to started gathering the residents of the building – all 140 of them. She has said, “God has blessed me in many ways and I can give back by helping people find peace in the middle of chaos.”

 When she is not “on call” you can find her in our disaster storage room organizing it, inventorying the supplies, restocking the disaster van and helping where ever she is needed.

(l-r) Hossein and Nancy Mirhashemi, with Nancy's parents, Marjorie and Richard Stolz

“Its Nancy spirit for her work and passion that distinguishes her,” said Steve Maricque, Executive Director, American Red Cross. “She truly wants to help people during a time of need and make a difference in their lives. It doesn’t matter whether its day or night. She’s ready, willing and able to respond and help in a moment’s notice.”

If fact, she’s always prepared to respond. Many times just being in the area, she will not wait for a call but rather will arrive on the scene and provide immediate assistance and feedback regarding a disaster situation. It’s this passion to help others that makes a difference in our community.

 One example of her readiness was on Friday, November 5, 2010.  Nancy was driving over the Mason St. Bridge and saw heavy smoke coming from the downtown area. She drove down to the scene and discovered a large apartment fire and immediately went into action asking the emergency personnel how can the Red Cross help? She was on the scene to help the people affected even before Red Cross was called to help.  “Nancy is the go-to person for the Red Cross disaster team,” said Yvonne Duffek, Red Cross Disaster Volunteer. “She has all the skills to manage any unexpected problem that arises–in a calm professional manner.

How has the nominee benefited the company through his/her role? Or made a significant impact?

We need people, like Nancy, who give of themselves in such an unselfish manner to help others, who are sometimes at their lowest point. Volunteers constitute 96 percent of our total work force to carry on the humanitarian work of the American Red Cross. We could not provide the services we do in our community without volunteers.

“Nancy possesses and displays the positive, empathetic, and knowledgeable spirit necessary to lead others in the achievement of the goals for the Red Cross Disaster Action Teams, said John Fairchild, Lead Disaster Team Volunteer. “She will remain on- scene and off-scene to assure all efforts have been exhausted. She is a great advocate and devotee for the American Red Cross.”

Thank you Students from All Saints School in Denmark

Students from All Saints School in Denmark, WI are helping the Red Cross bring comfort to families. Eighty students (K-8th grade) made eight tie blankets and presented them to Red Cross representative, Jody Weyers, at an all school assembly. The blankets will be giving out to families who are impacted by disasters in our community area.

The GOOD Vaccine Challenge: Win $5k to Raise Awareness About Vaccines

The Measles Initiative – a partnership between the American Red Cross, the United Nations Foundation, UNICEF, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization – works to reduce measles deaths globally by providing financial and technical assistance to governments and communities for vaccination campaigns worldwide. Asia has been a key focus of the Measles Initiative. 

For a campaign to be successful, the community must participate.  The American Red Cross provides financial support and training to Red Cross and Red Crescent societies on community education and mobilization. This training prepares volunteers to go house-to-house to educate families about the importance of vaccination and where they can access immunization services – enabling campaigns to reach children in the most remote villages.

Since the Measles Initiative began in 2001, the Measles Initiative has helped vaccinate 600 million children in more than 60 countries.  From 2000 to 2007, measles deaths have declined by 74 percent globally.  Although measles deaths have declined, significant work remains.

In FY 2009, the Measles Initiative supported measles vaccination campaigns in Afghanistan and Georgia.  For FY 2010, additional campaigns are planned for Tajikistan and Yemen.  For more information, visit the Measles Initiative website.

GOOD is putting up $5,000 to fund an idea that helps increase understanding of the vital role of vaccines play in the fight for global health.

We are now accepting submissions. You can submit your idea here.

Things are easy for most of us in the United States: We are vaccinated as children and then never think about it again until we travel to a foreign country. So it’s probably news to many of us that, worldwide, more than 2 million children under the age of five still die each year from preventable diseases because they don’t get the vaccine shots they need.

Knowing that it’s something as simple as a shot—not complicated medical treatment—that could save the lives of 2 million kids is sobering. But most people don’t know the size of the problem or the simplicity of the solution. If more people understood this gaping hole in global health, perhaps we would muster the resources to do something about it.

So we are calling for ideas and projects that will raise awareness about this issue. We want you to submit your best idea for convincing people in your life—your friends, neighbors, family members—that vaccines matter and for getting vaccines to every child in the world, particularly in developing countries. We are looking for creative ways of spreading the word—from a video to educate your neighbors about the need for vaccines in developing countries to a product concept for improving the delivery of vaccines around the world. The sky is the limit. Start thinking about it now.

Submit your entries here.

The GOOD Vaccine Challenge will be open for submissions from February 14 to 18.

  • We’ll review each submission and select the top 100 for public vote. 
  • Public voting will be open from February 23 to March 2. 
  • The top project will receive $5,000 to jump-start their idea!

Mark your calendars, and check back here for a link to the submission form (UPDATE: Here is the link). Get ready to submit your best idea on Valentine’s Day.

Bagging Groceries for Tips Fundraiser a Huge Success

Jenny Short, Corporate Community Relations Leader for Wisconsin Public Service and Lakeland Chapter Board Member, helping bag groceries for tips to support the Red Cross at Angeli’s in Marinette.

By Andy Duchow, Red Cross Volunteer

On Saturday, February 5th,  Angeli’s in Marinette hosted the “Bagging Groceries for Tips” fundraising event to benefit the local Red Cross. Volunteers from all over the Lakeland Chapter came out to support, as well as employees from the local Nicolet National Bank branches.  We bagged groceries for the customers of Angeli’s from 8am-5pm in return for tips. It was a long day, and by the end everyone had a healthy respect for the grocery bagging profession.

A big thank you goes out to the thirty-one volunteers who turned out for the event, and also to Angeli’s for opening their store to our fundraising efforts.  The event raised over $1,300 which will be used to purchase some much needed pagers for the area disaster response team.  The disaster team of the Marinette/Menominee area use a pager system to mobilize volunteers when a disaster occurs, so they can be ready anytime, anywhere.

If you would like to get involved with the Marinette/Menominee Disaster Team please contact Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director at 920-227-4287 or weyersj@arclakeland.org

Volunteer Spotlight: Tom & Cathy Harrison – Sharing the Love of it All

By Dawn Miller, Red Cross Volunteer

You can tell by looking at Tom and Cathy Harrison that they are not only best friends, but soul mates and they have that same kind of devotion to the volunteer work that they do at the Red Cross.

“My wife got me started in community service and working with the Red Cross,” Tom explained. “We have been doing things together and volunteering is a natural fit for us. She is fun to work and play with.”  

Tom and Cathy volunteer in many ways at the Red Cross. They both drive for the Lakeland Chapter Transportation Services once a week. During Hurricane Katrina, Rita and Wilma, they became trained in disaster work and went down to Florida to help on their first national assignment. They are also on call locally week every five to six weeks from 6pm to 6am Monday to Friday and 24/7 on the weekend. They help out with special events and provide volunteers for three to four blood drives a year.

“The Red Cross gives us ways to give back for the beautiful life we have been given.  When you see a crisis on TV and say, ‘wish I could help’, the Red Cross gives us the training and opportunity to really help people,” Cathy said and added. “We are just ordinary people but through the Red Cross we can help make things better for people in our community.  Helping by collecting blood, by serving cookies to donors, driving people to doctor appointment, or giving a fire victim a hug and a warm quilt can really make a difference in people’s lives.”

She went on to point out that giving back is important, “We make time for the Red Cross because we have had a great life and have been very blessed.”

Before retiring, Tom spent 24 years is the Army and was honorably discharged as First Sergeant while Cathy worked at Georgia Pacific. The two have two children, including Paul who lives with his wife, Kris, and their three children in Suamico, WI and Scott who lives in Chicago, IL.

While growing up, both Cathy and Tom learned the importance of giving back to the community. While at Georgia Pacific, Cathy made sure to do just that since she helped organize blood drives at the company for over 30 years.  

“My mom was a blood drive volunteer coordinator so I knew how to organize a drive at work, I asked management if we could try it and they agreed but only if the volunteers took vacation time to work at the blood drive,” Cathy said. “Georgia Pacific provided great cookies and nice refreshments for the drives plus a great area to have the drive. We drew about 100 units at each drive.”.

Since they are both retired they also have time to have fun outside of volunteering. They love to dance including country and ballroom. Cathy even went skydiving on her 47th birthday and they also belong to a Corvette Club.

“We love to travel, any where, any time.  We can be packed for an adventure in no time at all,” Cathy said.  “This past summer we joined eight other Corvettes on a 4000-mile cruise out to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks.  It was a great 14 days and we were still talking to each other when we got home, remember a corvette is a very small car.”

It is clear that this couple truly loves one another, as seen by everything that they do together, especially all the volunteer work that they do.

“We have been married 45 years. We have stayed best friends because we started out as friends first and then realized we loved each other,” Cathy said. “He is the most supportive and carrying person I know.  He makes being married to him easy and fun and I would do it again tomorrow.”