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.”

Blood Donations Urgently Needed

 

Suzi Hass, giving her 5th Gallon at the Northern Door YMCA Blood Drive.

Severe winter weather has forced the cancellation of 23,000 Red Cross blood and platelet donations since January 1.  More than 2,600 Mid-America Blood Services Division donations, serving 330 hospitals in the Midwest and parts of the central United States, are among the cancellations. 

All blood is needed, especially types O negative, A negative, and B negative.  Donations will be used first to meet any shortages at local hospitals.  Any remaining supplies will be moved through the Red Cross national network to where they are most needed.

The Red Cross asks all eligible donors to please make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as safely possible.  Your donations will help save lives. 

For a schedule of February donations click here.  For more information call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.

Soup’s On raises $35,000 for local Red Cross services

Soup’s On, the signature fundraising event for the American Red Cross-Outagamie Chapter, raised nearly $35,000 for local services.

The 17th annual Soup’s On was held Jan. 20th at the Grand Meridian in Appleton. The funds raised through ticket sales, silent auction, raffles and corporate sponsorships support a variety of local Red Cross services, including disaster relief, services to the Armed Forces, shopping and errand services for homebound older adults and disabled individuals and life-saving health and safety education and training.

“Raising $35,000 in our challenging economic environment is a huge success,” said Chapter Executive Director Tony Gonzalez. “We really appreciate everyone who came out to help us raise funds to assist over 10,000 people who receive chapter services every year.”

Gonzalez also thanked the event volunteers, the restaurants who donated food and other food items for the event and local businesses who purchased sponsorships or donated items for the silent auction. “Everyone working together made this event a huge success,” he said.

For more information, please visit www.redcrossoutagamie.org or call 920-733-4481.

American Red Cross Responds to Massive Winter Storm

Shelters open; blood donors still needed

The American Red Cross is on the ground in 19 states, offering food, comfort and a safe place to stay to people affected by the massive winter storm which has buried the country in ice and snow from the Rocky Mountains to Maine.

As of midnight last night, 73 shelters were open in nine states with additional shelters on standby as the storm system moves to the Northeast. To find an open Red Cross shelter, people can visit www.redcross.org and click on ‘Find a Shelter,’ or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). People can also contact their emergency management office for help locating a shelter.

In Chicago alone, more than 360 people spent the night in Red Cross shelters. Many were motorists stranded by the storm. In Tulsa, Red Cross disaster workers housed almost 70 people overnight who could not make it home due to the storm. Five Red Cross disaster warehouses are on alert, ready to ship supplies to where they are needed to help people in the path of this huge winter storm.

To help people affected by this winter storm and thousands of disasters in this country and around the world, visit www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter, or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Blood Donors Still Needed

The number of blood donations gone uncollected due to winter storms rose to nearly 23,000 overnight, with more blood drive cancellations expected as the storm moves toward New England. The Red Cross urges people who are eligible to schedule an appointment to give blood now.

People can schedule their donation by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting www.redcrossblood.org. All blood types are needed, but there is a special need for donors with O-Negative, A-Negative and B-Negative blood. To give blood, someone must be 17 years of age or older (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.  Individuals should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when coming to donate.

Winter Storm Safety Tips

If someone has to leave home and go to a shelter, they should remember to bring prescription and emergency medications, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, toiletries, important documents and other comfort items. They should remember items needed for infants and children, such as diapers, formula, and toys, along with any special things for family members who are elderly or disabled.

If possible, people should stay inside and avoid unnecessary travel. The Red Cross offers these steps people can take to stay safe and warm:

  • Do not use stoves or ovens to heat the home.
  • Place space heaters on a hard, level, nonflammable surface.  Do not put space heaters on rugs or carpets, near bedding or drapes, and keep children and pets away. 
  • Turn off space heaters or extinguish the fireplace before going to bed or leaving home. 
  • Keep all flammable materials such as newspapers, matches, bedding, clothing, carpets and rugs at least three feet away from heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces and stoves.

If someone must go outside, they should wear layered lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves (or mittens) and a hat will prevent loss of body heat. Covering the mouth will protect the lungs. Other safety tips include:

  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep feet warm and dry and to maintain footing in ice and snow.
    • If shoveling snow, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated. Avoid overexertion.
    • Avoid traveling by car in a storm, but if someone must be out on the roads …
      • Carry a Disaster Supplies Kit in the trunk.
      • Keep the car’s gas tank full for emergency use and to keep the fuel line from freezing.
      • The traveler should let someone know where they are going, the route being taken and expected arrival time. If their vehicle gets stuck along the way, help can be sent along the predetermined route.

 For more information on how to stay safe and warm during this latest onslaught of winter, visit www.redcross.org.     

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.

You can help people affected by disasters like winter storms, as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Red Cross Helps Three Displaced by Fire in Downtown Green Bay

The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter responded to house fire on Cherry St. in Green Bay around 7:30am, on February 2. Two American Red Cross disaster workers assisted the three adults displaced by the fire with their immediate emergency needs.

We provided the clients with hotel stay, monetary assistance for clothing 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.

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.

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.