My First American Red Cross Experience

By Erin Thayse, Red Cross Volunteer

Me at 13!

Me at 13!

When you are thirteen years old, ways to earn an income are limited. My parents did not believe in allowances so babysitting was my second choice. My mother said I would be more marketable if I was “certified” so she signed me up for the American Red Cross Babysitting Training.

I was familiar with the American Red Cross building at 2131 Deckner Avenue as it was passed on our way to Cub Foods. Walking into the building by myself, there were signs letting me know the babysitter course was held in the basement, first door on the left. Down the stairs I went into a room lit with fluorescent lights containing a U shaped table. Since I was a shy thirteen year old, I stationed myself next to another girl sitting by herself and hoped she was not holding the seat for a friend.

In the following weeks of class, about ten of us learned how to perform CPR, the baby Heimlich maneuver, how to change a diaper and properly feed a baby.  Some of us caught on better than others due to experience with younger brothers or sisters while others performed just well enough to pass. Our instructor was understanding but firm, an older woman who probably had taught the class for years and had practiced the techniques on her own children and grandchildren.

We all had one common thought: while we were prepared to perform the life saving techniques we learned in class, we NEVER wanted to use them in our actual babysitting careers. With such great power comes great responsibility and the Babysitting Training instilled in us how great of a responsibility we were undertaking.

We earned our certification and handed a laminated card to put in our respective wallets to show potential employers of our qualifications. I did have a couple of regular families I would babysit for, all with older kids who did not require bottles or diaper changes. Through it all, I was fortunate enough not to use any of the preparedness skills learned at the Red Cross on my kids (I do remember having to treat my own second degree burn after making lunch on the stove though).

When I walked into the Deckner Avenue location some sixteen years later to start my new journey as an American Red Cross volunteer, I still remembered where the Babysitting Training was held. Maybe I will be in front of the class teaching potential babysitters with the new CPR techniques…but probably not. I was a much better babysitting pets than I was kids.

Training for Babysitters from the American Red Cross

Our course has changed quite a bit in 16 years, but one common theme remains the same: this class provides the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly care for infants and children.

Learn how to help kids have fun, while keeping them safe and following household rules with Babysitting Basics and Babysitter’s Training from the Red Cross. To learn more about these two programs and to sign up for a class near you click HERE.

World Red Cross Day

American Red Cross Offering International Humanitarian Law Course

The American Red Cross joins with the 187 other Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies around the globe annually on May 8 to celebrate World Red Cross/Red Crescent Day. This date marks the birth of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent network’s founder Henry Dunant.

Motivated by his experiences during the Battle of Solferino in 1859, Dunant advocated for the humane treatment of the sick and wounded during wartime. He recorded his memories and experiences in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863.

Today, more than 150 years after the conflict, the global Red Cross and Red Crescent network is comprised of more than 13 million volunteers and assists more than 300 million people worldwide each year.

To commemorate 150 years of humanitarian action, the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin will celebrate the day by hosting the International Humanitarian Law training.

International humanitarian law, which includes the Geneva Conventions, is at the core of the global Red Cross network. It is critical to preserving a minimum of humanity in the worst of circumstances. The American Red Cross will be offering a four-hour course on the role of the Red Cross in times of armed conflict. The course is free to the public and addresses the humanitarian aspect of the American Red Cross. 

Instructor, Kerri Hah, brings over 11 years of experience educating the public and has trained hundreds of school children on the subject matter of Humanitarian Law.

The Red Cross actively promotes tolerance and humanitarian values.  In times of national crisis or war, all segments of the public must feel confident that they can turn to the Red Cross for help, or to volunteer their time, talents and resources.

Click on the link to learn more:

International Humanitarian Law:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Classroom 1 (lower level)

American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave, Green Bay

To register for the class contact Nick Cluppert, Training Specialist, at 920-231-3692 x 19 or

GREAT day for a Cookout…..

It’s 60 degrees…. Celebrate by heading over to the Main St. Fire Station in Fond du Lac on Friday, April 26 from 10am-2pm and get a brat or burger to support your local American Red Cross. Thank you to Fond du Lac Fire and Rescue and the Fond du Lac Firefighters Local 400 for your support!

brat fry posterApril 2013

Tiffany Circle: Following the Lead of so Many Great Women Before Them.

By Sherry Holmes, Tiffany Circle Director

SONY DSCFounding member of the Northeast Wisconsin Tiffany Circle chapter, Aymee Balison, held a reception at her home on Monday, April 15, to announce the 2013-14 project for the Wisconsin Tiffany Circle Chapters and to introduce Tiffany Circle to women leaders in the Green Bay area.

Tiffany Circle is a society of women leaders and philanthropists. These women follow in the footsteps of a long line of women leaders who have helped the Red Cross serve the American public in times of war and peace with disaster assistance, blood collection, safety training and countless other community assistance services. The Northeast Wisconsin Tiffany Circle Chapter is in its inaugural year.

To support Blood Services, the Eastern Wisconsin Tiffany Circle members are committing to raise funds to purchase a new Sprinter vehicle.  This vehicle will provide more opportunities for businesses, schools and organizations who want to sponsor blood drives at their location. For more information on Tiffany Circle, contact Sherry Holmes, 920-922-3450 or

Photo by: Women Magazine

To learn more about Aymee – Read her article in the latest addition of Women Magazine!

As a business owner and mother to four lovely daughters, Aymee Balison already has her hands full. But, Balison’s home and work juggle hasn’t stop her from getting deeply involved in area charities and maintaining the strong friendships she’s developed the last 15 years in Green Bay.

Shouldn’t Every Week Be National Volunteer Week?

WEYERS_03By: Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director

Today starts National Volunteer Week! It seems like it always sneaks up on me and then I scramble to think….oh my gosh…. What am I going to do to recognize our volunteers??? This year, I am not stressing about it because it should not be about recognizing our volunteers during this week – we should be recognizing and thanking our volunteers all year long!!

Recognition comes in many different forms, and volunteers value recognition in different ways.  A verbal thank you, a hand written note, a little token of appreciation, a birthday/anniversary card, a formal recognition event.  All of these ideas are great ways to say thank you. What do you perceive as gratitude of thanks? There is no right or wrong answer, which is why volunteer recognition must be a mixed bag of showing gratitude.

Here is a list of some of my  top 10 ways to show appreciation and recognition all year long to our volunteer work force:

1. Always say Thank YOU!

2. Have a smile on your face when working with volunteers. Volunteers are coming into your organization to help others. They don’t want to hear you complain about your co-workers, other volunteers or problems in your life.

3. Create a comfortable working environment or create their own space to call home.

4. Send a birthday card. Go one step further and have it signed by all your staff and other volunteers they may work with.

5. Recognize anniversary dates.

6. If you see an article about that volunteer (or donor) cut it out and send it to them with a note of congratulations.

7. If you know about a loss of a family member, illness, or if they are just going through a hard time – send them a note of encouragement, a single flower, cup of coffee….. just a simple thing to let them know you are thinking of them during this time.

8. Comment on a volunteers Facebook page with “Great job today” or “Thank you for volunteering”. This also shows their friends and family the good work they are doing within your organization.

9. Show interest and get feedback. Ask volunteers “Are there ways we can improve things, how can we improve your volunteer work, etc?

10. Provide a name badge or some type of logo apparel.

Beside the last one, none of these tips cost much to an organization. The thing is this cannot just be the culture of the Volunteer Department.  To be extremely effective, this should be the culture of your entire organization.

On this week and EVERY WEEK I want to say thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who give of their time, energy, blood and support to the American Red Cross. We could not do it without you!

Red Cross Can Help You Be Prepared for the Next Emergency

Take A Class, Download First Aid App To Help Save Life 

Recent events in Boston and Texas emphasize the importance of knowing what to do when an emergency occurs. Evan as first responders rushed into help at both scenes, much of the initial care to the injured was provided by friends, neighbors and bystanders who were trained in CPR and first aid. Whether the emergency is community-wide and involves numerous injuries, or involves a single individual being hurt at home, it is vital that someone close by knows what to do when such an emergency occurs.

“Getting yourself and your family more prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind during trying times and can help save someone’s life during future emergencies,” said Judy Gregory, Disaster Services Director. “Taking an action like downloading our first aid, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help people feel empowered to act when disaster strikes.

The American Red Cross has numerous ways people can get the information and training they need to be able to help when an emergency occurs and urges everyone to be better prepared by taking advantage of training and mobile apps available to teach them what to do when someone needs assistance.

FIRST AID/CPR CLASSES The Red Cross has classes available that emphasize hands-on-learning of First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The courses teach someone the skills they need to help save a life. Participants learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies, how to respond to cardiac and breathing emergencies in adults and how to use AEDs. There are also options available to learn how to help infants and children. People canregister for these classes at or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

ONLINE TRAINING Family and household members can learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies by taking the new Red Cross Family First Aid and CPR online,The cost is $30. Family First Aid and CPR teaches you how to:

  • Identify signals of medical emergencies
  • Give appropriate care for common first aid emergencies.
  • Know when to call 9-1-1 and what to do until help arrives for critical cardiac and first aid emergencies.

This course is for people who do not require OSHA-compliant certification. It takes about 2 hours to go through the Adult CPR and First Aid content. Pediatric modules are also available.

DOWNLOAD FIRST AID APP People can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App for iPhone and Android mobile devices which puts simple lifesaving information at someone’s fingertips. Features include step-by-step instructions to guide someone through everyday first aid scenarios, full integration with 9-1-1 to call emergency services from the app and preloaded content to have instant access to information even without device reception or internet connectivity. The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross.

How to Prepare for Flooding

Floods are among the most frequent and costly natural disasters. Conditions that cause floods include heavy or steady rain for several hours or days that saturates the ground. Flash floods occur suddenly due to rapidly rising water along a stream or low-lying area.

You will likely hear weather forecasters use these terms when floods are predicted in your community:

  • Flood/Flash Flood Watch—Flooding or flash flooding is possible in your area.=
  • Flood/Flash Flood Warning—Flooding or flash flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.

Click HERE to learn more about Flood Safety by checking out these safety tips.

Girl Scouts donate blankets to Red Cross

Video provided by Nathan Phelps, Green Bay Press Gazette:

Click HERE to see video of story:

Girl Scout blanket donation: Girl Scouts with Troop 4202 in Green Bay donated tie-blankets to the American Red Cross in Green Bay Saturday for distribution to people in need, like fire victims.

Girl Scouts Troop 4202 members were on hand at Green Bay Fire Department Station 3 on Saturday to donated blankets to the American Red Cross.

The blankets are intended for distribution to people in need, such as people who have been displaced from their homes by fires.

American Red Cross Urges Residents to Prepare for Severe Weather

Download free Tornado App to get ready for rain, strong winds and possible tornadoes

The American Red Cross is urging residents in Northeast Wisconsin to make sure households, schools and business are prepared for possible severe weather including rain, strong winds and possible tornados.

“Listen to weather alerts and designate a safe space where people can gather for the duration of the storm,” said Judy Gregory, Regional Manager, Disaster Services.  “The area should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor away from windows.”

Do this one simple step in being prepared - download one of the many Red Cross Apps to your phone!

Do this one simple step in being prepared – download one of the many Red Cross Apps to your phone!

Download Tornado App

The American Red Cross Tornado App is available in English or Spanish and gives iPhone, iPad and Android smart phone and tablet users instant access to local and real-time information, so they know what to do before, during and after a tornado.

The free app includes a high-pitched siren and “tornado warning!” alert that signals when a NOAA tornado warning has been issued. This feature allows users to make critical decisions and to take actions to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe even in the middle of the night. An “all clear!” alert lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled.

Other features of the app include:

  • Location-based NOAA tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watch and warning alerts;
  • One touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to broadcast reassurance to family and friends via social media outlets that they are out of harm’s way;
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity;
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm; and
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters.

“If a tornado is threatening your area, listen for alerts and warnings, grab your emergency preparedness kit and head to your designated safe area,” Gregory added. “Be prepared to evacuate if necessary.”

The Tornado App, along with other apps, can be found in the Apply App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross or by going to People can go to for more safety tips.

Prepare for Spring Storms…… Or Winter Again

Tornado, Flood, and Thunderstorm Season nears.

Be Red Cross Ready – Last year, hurricanes battered the East Coast in less than three months prompting the Red Cross to mount its largest and most expensive response to a natural disaster in the organization’s history.

Thousands of people turned to the media for information on the storms’ paths and where to go for help. With predictions of another busy storm season on the horizon, the American Red Cross invites you to join us for a Preparedness Seminar.

Do this one simple step in being prepared - download one of the many Red Cross Apps to your phone!

Do this one simple step in being prepared – download one of the many Red Cross Apps to your phone!

Who:  Free to the public

What: Be Red Cross Ready– join the American Red Cross for a presentation about preparedness; learn what you can do to be prepared for the upcoming storm season.

When: Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Time: 6:00-7:00 pm    

Where: Ripon Public Library

Silver Creek Room

120 Jefferson Street

Ripon, WI 54971

Why: Learn –

  • How you can help be better prepare for the Spring Storms.
  • How the Red Cross helps people following a disaster.
  • How you can tap into Red Cross resource.
  • How you can become a Red Cross volunteer.

For more information on this presentation, or other information on preparedness, please contact Lisa Stanchfield at (920)922-3450, or