Avoid the Black Friday Crowds…..

Take a sneak peek at your 2012 Holiday Giving Catalog.


Visit www.redcross.org/gifts now and take a sneak peek.

This year’s Catalog features a lineup of your favorite life-changing gifts, including blankets ($25) that warm up a family spending the night in an emergency shelter, vaccinations ($50) that protect children from deadly diseases around the world, caregiver training ($75) for family and friends of military loved ones returning home from overseas, and more.

Stay one step ahead of the seasonal stress and check a few gifts off your list early this year – visit www.redcross.org/gifts now, and give something that means something.

Happy shopping!

Red Cross Offers Cooking Safety Tips For Thanksgiving Chefs

Cooking Leading Cause of Home Fires

Thanksgiving is all about food and family – turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and family time. However, preparing holiday goodies can lead to disaster – the kitchen is the setting of more fires than any other room in the house, and cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home. The American Red Cross has safety steps to use while preparing the Thanksgiving feast. 

The Red Cross wants folks to have a safe holiday and the following will help avoid ruining the holiday with a cooking fire.

The cooks should start by not wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn-off the stove. Other safety steps include:

  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Another helpful step is to download the Red Cross First Aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in someone’s hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official Red Cross First Aid app gives instant access to the information needed to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.

House fires are the worst disaster threat to families in the United States. To learn how to prevent a fire in the home and how to keep members of the household safe, people can download The Red Cross Fire Prevention and Safety Checklist.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Fall Celebration of Support Year End Highlight Video!

Superstorm Sandy Response 11-16-2012

Lambeau Field blood drive collects 328 pints

Written b Charles Davis  Press-Gazette

Sarah Kerbel, with her 5 month old son, Efrem.

Sarah Kerbel has never donated blood but is thankful others did.

That’s because during her first pregnancy she developed HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening condition that impacts pregnant women, usually during the third trimester. Kerbel required two units of platelets after her son was born eight weeks premature on June 17.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for the people that have donated,” the De Pere mom said Wednesday while holding her son Efrem, who will be five months old this weekend. “I’m obviously thankful for my family and life; and because of someone donating, I’m here to celebrate a Thanksgiving.”

In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of donating blood, Kerbel attended an American Red Cross blood drive on Wednesday at the Lambeau Field Atrium, 1265 Lombardi Ave. People who receive a blood transfusion must wait a year to donate, so Kerbel plans to donate blood for the first time next summer when she is medically cleared.

The blood drive lasted 12 hours and saw 328 pints of blood donated. Organizers had hoped to receive at least 350 pints of blood.

Last month’s Superstorm Sandy killed more than 110 people and caused the cancellation of 380 blood drives across the East Coast, which resulted in a shortage  of nearly 13,000 units of blood and platelets, said Bobbi Snethen, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region, which includes Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and eastern Iowa.

The greatest need is for O negative blood — which any patient can receive — followed by A and B negative blood types. O and A positive are the most common blood types, Snethen said.

The American Red Cross holds two blood drives at Lambeau Field each year, she said. This is the fourth year the Red Cross has partnered with the Green Bay Packers, and the event was held at the Legends Club Level.

In addition to donating blood, some people at Lambeau Field signed cards as part of the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. The cards will be shipped to active duty soldiers and veterans for the holiday season.

cedavis@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @pgcharlesdavis.

We Live In a Community of Much Generosity

Out of tragedy and disaster comes the stories of courage, strength and acts of kindness. Kate Burgess, CEO, FulfillNet and her team, demonstrate firsthand how a small act of kindness can make a big impact.

In honor of the companies they serve, many on the East Coast, they have chosen to forego a traditional holiday gift and instead give a significant donation to offer assistance to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

Thank you to Kate and your team for your $3,000 gift to the American Red Cross!  Your gift will go far in providing hope and help to those in need.

Thank you for being a friend of the American Red Cross and for all you do in our community!

(Below is Kate’s letter sent to their customers.) 

Red Cross Partners Serve Thousands of Meals to NY, NJ

Posted November 10, 2012    

The American Red Cross and Southern Baptist Convention are working together on an extensive operation to make sure people in New York and New Jersey have food to eat after Superstorm Sandy knocked out power and devastated neighborhoods.

The two organizations partner when disaster strikes to prepare meals and distribute them to those in need. The Southern Baptist Convention deploys volunteers and mobile kitchens capable of making thousands of meals a day. The Red Cross works with them, loading the meals onto emergency vehicles to hand out in the affected neighborhoods. Since Sandy’s onslaught on the East Coast began, the two organizations have served more than 3.7 million meals and snacks.

At a food preparation site in Deer Park on Long Island, Mitch Henry is a man on a mission. As the Red Cross Mass Care Feeding manager, Henry coordinates and directs the activity of 25 Red Cross response vehicles that hand out almost 50,000 hot meals each day throughout an area stretching 70 miles in all directions.

Using an outdoor picnic table as his desk, he never seems distracted by the steady stream of phone calls. One gets the impression that some important issue has been settled, another piece of the puzzle put in place after each call.

“The truth is, whatever success I have here, I owe it all to Bob Roberts,” Henry explained, nodding to the manager in charge of the Southern Baptist Convention mobile kitchens that came from Arkansas, New York, and Mississippi.

A total of 60 Southern Baptist volunteer cooks came from these three states. Between them and the huge mobile kitchens there is the capability to prepare tens of thousands of meals each day for Red Cross distribution. When a Southern Baptist cook goes to the pantry to select the vegetable for the dinner plate, he sends a man with a forklift to bring in pallets of canned goods from the trailer of an 18-wheeler.

Eighteen volunteers from the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief unit in Wichita, Kansas, also came along to assist with sanitizing the food containers and loading the vehicles. These Southern Baptist volunteers are only a small part of the more than 750 volunteers that have been sent to partner with Red Cross provide meals throughout the entire Hurricane Sandy affected area.

“In all my years in Red Cross disaster work, I have never had such support as we have received here,” said Henry, who has deployed as a Red Cross kitchen manager 16 times since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. “The folks in this area did all the work that had to be done to set up the tents, helped organize the layout of the site, and even brought fire engines down here to light up the area so we could work late into the night.”

ENORMOUS RESPONSE The Red Cross has mobilized the full resources of the organization across the country to get help to people affected by Sandy. More than 5,700 disaster workers and hundreds of Red Cross vehicles have been mobilized to help. People have lost their homes or suffered devastating damage. Many are still without power. Organizations including the Red Cross have provided more than 127,000 shelter stays. In addition to the millions of meals served, the Red Cross has handed out more than 272,000 relief items already and provided more than 40,300 health services and emotional support contacts.

HOW TO HELP The Red Cross response to Sandy is massive and growing by the day. If someone would like to help, they can make a financial donations by visiting www.redcross.org, calling call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS (all one word) to 90999 to make a $10 donation



Superstorm Sandy Response

Holiday Mail for Heroes

Each year the American Red Cross provides assistance to more than 2 million service members and many of our nation’s 24 million veterans. We support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe. And once a year, we get the joy of delivering holiday cards to veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world.

The cards and personal messages, sent by tens of thousands of Americans, provide a welcome “touch of home” for our troops during the holiday season.

Visit our YouTube channel to see Red Cross volunteers distributing cards and messages in previous years: Holiday Mail for Heroes YouTube playlist.

Each year we collect cards between October and early December and then distribute them at military installations, veterans hospitals, and in other locations.

Throughout the year, you can make a difference with a monetary gift to Help Military Families through the Red Cross. Your donation can help change a military family’s life. Donate Now.

There are several ways to be part of the Holiday Mail for Heroes program. In addition to sending cards on your own, you may want to start making plans to host card signing parties or card making parties. Here are a few guidelines to help you on your way:

Card Guidelines:

Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.

Please observe the following guidelines to ensure a quick reviewing process:

  • Ensure that all cards are signed.
  • Use generic salutations such as “Dear Service Member.” Cards addressed to specific individuals can not be delivered through this program.
  • Only cards are being accepted. Do not send or include letters.
  • Do not include email or home addresses on the cards: the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
  • Do not include inserts of any kind, including photos: these items will be removed during the reviewing process.
  • Please refrain from choosing cards with glitter or using loose glitter as it can aggravate health issues of ill and injured warriors.
  • If you are mailing a large quantity of cards, please bundle them and place them in large mailing envelopes or flat rate postal shipping boxes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.
All holiday greetings should be addressed and sent to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes

P.O. Box 5456 Capitol Heights

MD 20791-5456

The deadline for having cards to the P.O. Box is Friday, December 7th. Holiday cards received after this date cannot be guaranteed delivery.