More than 23,000 Cards Collected Through Holiday Mail for Heroes

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Thank you to our partners at Pitney Bowes for helping to mail the cards collected from the community. (l-r) Steve Hansen, Melissa Rieckoff, Nicole Prill, Deb Niec, Teri Klarner and Shawn Kiser.

Thousands of veterans, military families and active-duty service members at hospitals and installations around the world will receive a message of hope and joy this holiday season thanks to the efforts of people in Eastern Wisconsin. That region of the American Red Cross collected more than 23,000 cards from this year’s Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign.

“The outpouring of support from local businesses, community groups, schools and churches is amazing,” says Shawn Kiser, Regional Project Manager for Holiday Mail for Heroes in Eastern Wisconsin. “From Milwaukee to Manitowoc and even Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, thousands of people took the time to either fill out a holiday card or make their own to show their appreciation for those who serve our country.”

The region set a goal to collect 10,000 cards this year. It far surpassed that goal thanks to the efforts of the programs partners. They include: Aurora, Camera Corner Connecting Point, Green Bay Packers,  Humana, Kimberly-Clark, National Exchange Bank & Trust, Pitney Bowes, Schneider National, UW-Green Bay along with many others. We thank them for their support.

Pitney Bowes in Neenah covered the cost to ship thousands of cards to a location on the east coast where the cards are scanned and sorted. Once that process is complete, thousands of cards will return to the Red Cross in Eastern Wisconsin for distribution into the community.

It’s never too early to begin planning for next year’s Holiday Mail for Heroes campaign. If you want to become involved, contact Shawn Kiser at: Shawn.Kiser@redcross.org.

Click HERE to see photos from our different partners card hosting events.

Kingsford, MI Blood Drive December 18

The American Red Cross is very proud to be able to feature and honor Mr. Maynard Buehler.  Maynard has given 14 gallons of blood so far and could have helped up to 42 people with his donations.  Every day, patients across the nation rely on blood donated through the American Red Cross.  The blood you donate could be used to help cancer patients, accident victims, organ transplant recipients, premature babies and many others.

Please consider giving a priceless gift this holiday season; the gift of life.

The need is constant, the gratification is instant…give blood.

The next American Red Cross blood drive will be Tuesday, December 18th from 11:30 am until 5:30 pm at the First Presbyterian Church in Kingsford, Michigan.

You can make a reservation by calling Greg Honeywell at 906-828-9207, 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org.  Or simply visit the blood drive on December 18th and donate.

The American Red Cross is also pleased to have Catie Schultz, the new owner at Michael’s Fine Jewelry sponsoring the blood drive.

“Songs of the Season” Red Cross Benefit Rousing Success!

IvoryWind at the Steakhouse 024On Saturday, December 8th, Ivory Wind with Strings held an immensely successful candlelight Christmas concert, “Songs of the Season”, at the First Presbyterian Church in Weyauwega.

This third annual event raised over $2,000 for local disaster action team and fire prevention programs, as part of the HEROES for the American Red Cross program.

New to HEROES this year is the integration of “Service to the Armed Forces” (SAF)  which ensures that service members, veterans and their families have worldwide, around-the-clock access to timely and reliable humanitarian services.  The beauty of HEROES is its local impact—in this particular instance—Waupaca County.

Ivory Wind with Strings is a trio of amazingly talented musicians.  Joyce Josie, piano, is the music director at First Presbyterian Church of Weyauwega.  Ann Stevens, flute, has played with the Waupaca Community Orchestra for the past 27 years and works at Aurora Community Services assisting individuals with disabilities.  Laurie Young, violin, joined the group in 2009 and has played violin since age 7.  She is Occupational Therapist and Rehab Director at St. Joseph’s Residence in New London.

Vicki P. Jenks, Board member for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin and Disaster Action Team volunteer, shared with the large audience that, “Joyce, Ann and Laurie are HEROES for the American Red Cross, but so are YOU.  You are the backbone of your communities.  You step up, time and time again, and DONATE.  The Red Cross could not exist without you!”

96-year-old Baudhuin stays young through volunteer work

Written by Patti Zarling  Press-Gazette Media

One of the big changes Blanche Baudhuin experienced as a volunteer with Red Cross was moving to a computerized system. ‘I never owned a computer, I was afraid,’ Baudhuin said. ‘They showed me a simple way.’ / Lukas Keapproth/Press-Gazette Media

Blanche Baudhuin wore a cheerful red and white Christmas sweater and matching red shoes recently to greet blood donors at the local Red Cross on Deckner Avenue.Many regular donors recognize the smiling 96-year-old as she takes their name and types their information into “Susie” the computer. After all, she’s been a volunteer for the Northeastern Wisconsin chapter of the American Red Cross for about 36 years.

“I just love it,” Baudhuin said. “I hate to think of the day I can’t volunteer anymore.”

She said the gig keeps her young at heart. She used to be a driver for the nonprofit’s transportation services, but now she helps out at the front desk, sometimes answering phones, but mostly checking in donors.

She started volunteering after her husband died.

“I had to do something to keep busy,” Baudhuin said. “Before I came here, I also helped with the free Thanksgiving dinners for people and made quilts for the needy.”

Baudhuin said she likes volunteering for the Red Cross.

“I enjoy meeting the people,” she said. “Most of the people who come in know me because I’ve been here so long. When they come in, they kid with me.”

One of the big changes she experienced was moving to a computerized system.

“I never owned a computer, I was afraid,” Baudhuin said. “They showed me a simple way. I’m too old, can’t run it. We named her Susie.”

Although she no longer drives for the Red Cross, she still occasionally volunteers off sight, by helping at locations such as Green Bay City Hall, during blood collections.

Everyone she works with at the Red Cross is nice, she said.

“I like the people,” she said. “They’re friendly, and nice to get along with.”

Baudhuin grew up in Algoma and move to Green Bay in 1940. She likes to crochet and play cards when she’s not volunteering. She turns 97 in March.

She thinks more seniors should consider helping others.

“Instead of sitting home and feeling sorry for yourselves, get out and volunteer,” she said. “That’s how I feel about it.”

The Red Cross appreciates her efforts.

“She’s an absolute joy,” said Jody Weyers, regional volunteer and communications director for the local Red Cross. “I think it goes to show volunteering definitely keeps you young at heart. If you’re thing is sitting at home and thinking about ailments, it’s better to get out and keep busy.”

Blanche Baudhuin, 96, helps Jerry Vander Heiden check in to donate blood at the Lakeland Red Cross on Deckner Avenue. / Lukas Keapproth/Press-Gazette Media

Larry Guyette has known Baudhuin for more than a decade and drives her home after she volunteers at the center.

“She has such energy and enthusiasm,” he said. “She gets upset if she can’t make it here. It’s something that’s really important to her, and I thinks she sets a good example for all of us.”

— pzarling@greenbaypressgazette or follow her on Twitter @PGPattiZarling

“Weekend for Sandy” Paintball Event in Little Suamico

Weekend for Sandy CPB

Legato Spreads the Spirit of Giving through Facebook “Like” Campaign

Two months after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, millions of people are still suffering this holiday season due to the devastation it left in its wake. To help alleviate some of the suffering, Legato Healthcare Marketing plans to donate $2,000 to the American Red Cross relief efforts.

Because it is the holiday season, Legato wants to spread this gift beyond themselves; they’re asking for your help and participation.

Helping is easy. All you have to do is “Like” Legato’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LegatoMarketing). For every new Like, Legato will donate $1 to Superstorm Sandy Relief, up to the desired $2,000. The total donation will go towards food, shelter, emotional support and other assistance.

Legato and the American Red Cross of Northeastern Wisconsin would love this to be a holiday gift to those in need, so a deadline has been set for December 25 to reach the goal of 2,000 Likes.

In helping to arrange Legato’s donation, Shawn Kiser, from the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin said, “This campaign provides people a simple way to support those affected by Superstorm Sandy. I encourage everyone to “like” Legato Healthcare Marketing’s page and please ask all of your Facebook friends to do the same! The more “likes” the more money Legato will donate to Sandy Relief. I hope other businesses will take notice of this effort and try to find creative ways to help those in need.”

“Thanks to the public’s support, the Red Cross has been able to provide food, shelter, relief supplies and comfort to thousands of people impacted by Sandy. Our work includes serving more than 8.7 million meals and snacks and handing out more than 6.5 million relief items, including cold weather items and cleanup supplies, ” Kiser also said.

The American Red Cross name is used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, expressed or implied, of any product, service, company, individual or political position. For more information about the American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org

Legato Healthcare Marketing is a healthcare marketing agency headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Legato provides specialized marketing solutions to healthcare environments including rural health, retail health, specialty clinics and corporate wellness. For ongoing news please visit, www.legatohealthcaremarketing.com.

 

Finding a sitter requires some creative searching

Written by Jennifer Hogeland For Press-Gazette Media

As the holidays approach, and the invitations to parties pour in, parents must start their search for a sitter. If grandparents aren’t available to watch your little ones for that gotta-go-to bash, it’s necessary to enlist the help of a babysitter.

Finding just the right person to care for your children is no small task. The first challenge is finding a willing and capable teen. Then, before leaving your little darlings in his or her hands, there are several things you should discuss to be sure both of you will be happy with the arrangement.

Area experts offered suggestions on finding and interviewing potential babysitters before your night out on the town.

Finding the right match

Keep an eye open for responsible teens. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magical list of certified and interested babysitters available from area organizations or the American Red Cross, so parents have to get creative.

Sara Weier oversees the babysitter training program for the American Red Cross in Wisconsin and she explains the best way to find potential babysitters is by reaching out to neighbors or community organizations.

“We tell potential babysitters to connect with neighborhood associations, churches and to talk with parents and other babysitters to make their interest in babysitting known,” says Weier.

Word of mouth is key, suggests Yvonne Duffek, an American Red Cross certified babysitting instructor. Babysitters are told not to put their information on public boards; students are encouraged to hand out personalized business cards to trusted adults that could assist with their job search. So, ask around. Chances are friends and neighbors have a name or two to share.

Several websites have also popped up in recent years as a resource for parents searching for sitters in the area. Sites like sittercity.com and care.com provide a list of babysitters by zip code. You need to create an account and there may be fees for the information you seek. Peruse the detailed profiles of potential candidates before setting up an interview.

Paying the going rate

Discussing payment is a necessary conversation when hiring a babysitter. While the typical hourly fee falls within a range, parents should consider the number of children, their ages and the expectations of the babysitter before determining their rate.

“I think it depends on the family,” said Denise Mancheski, enrichment director at the Greater Green Bay YMCA. “It varies. It isn’t like years ago when every parent paid $2 an hour.”

She shares some parents start at minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour in Wisconsin.

Duffek has done some research and determined the minimum going rate for a Red Cross certified babysitter is currently $5 an hour, although some parents pay as much as $10