Fun Fact Friday: American Red Cross & The Spanish-American War

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Did you know that in 1898, the Spanish-American War was the first time the American Red Cross took part of a war? Since then, the Red Cross has also provided services for other wars such as both World Wars and Vietnam War.  Here are some fun and interesting facts about what the Red Cross did for the Spanish-American War:

  • The Red Cross provided aid such as nursing care, medical supplies, and more for the American soldiers.
  • Clara Barton, founder of American Red Cross, went to hospitals to enlist nurses to work at the medical camps in Florida and Cuba. She was 76 years old when this happened. Can you believe it?
  • The Red Cross did not forget about the families back at home. The Red Cross assisted the inquiries from families.
  • All of the dedication and help paid off. In 1900, the Red Cross received the first charter from the U.S. Congress.

The Red Cross continues to have a strong partnership with the American military. The services for the American military and their families will also continue to be provided with compassion and dedication. Learn more about our history by visiting http://www.redcross.org/about-us/history

Leon Wollersheim is Honored with the Behind-the-Scenes Award!

Leon Wollersheim

Sherry Rezba and Leon Wollersheim

Leon Wollersheim has been a volunteer with the Red Cross for eight years. He is one of those people you can always depend on. For several years he regularly came in once a week to help with data entry. Having him help in the office was such a pleasure because we could always count on hearing a funny joke when he arrived.  He came in with a smile on his face and a positive “sure, I can do that for you” attitude. In addition to helping in the office he has continuously been a disaster action team member taking 24/7 calls throughout the years, responding to calls in Calumet and neighboring counties when called upon. He recently joined the Calumet/Manitowoc/Sheboygan Community Council becoming even more involved in the mission of the Red Cross. As a council member, he supports the Red Cross’s community outreach through various local and regional events and projects. He is a dedicated volunteer with a great sense of humor, a kind personality and he is a pleasure to be around.

Congratulations, Leon Wollersheim on your Behind-the-Scenes Award!

Nancy Stolz Mirhashemi is Honored with the 2013 Volunteer of the Year Award!

The Volunteer of the Year Award is awarded to Nancy Stolz Mirhashemi who has demonstrated long-term commitment to the American Red Cross. She gives time, talent and knowledge in ways that improve the quality of the programs and services of the organization.

She has been an active volunteer since September 2005. Since then she has donated hundreds of hours working with people affected by fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. When she is not out on a fire call she is attending planning meetings.

She wears many hats and when asked to change jobs it is always done with great poise. “Red Cross work is all about being flexible” is one of her favorite sayings. She is trained and has experience in being an Operational Manager, a Supervisor in Damage Assessment, Mass Care, Client Casework and Shelter Management and is an instructor of basic Disaster Courses. She also is certified as an ERV –Emergency Response Vehicle Driver and is Captain of one of the Disaster Response Teams. However, we think her favorite title is Queen of the store room.

Nancy is an important part of the Disaster Response Leadership team. She provides a calm ship in the middle of serious situations. If something isn’t flowing right she has no problem in relooking at the problem and setting a new path. Nancy is well respected by all who work along with her. Fire Chiefs have called after a fire to say how great it was working with her—her professionalism, knowledge of procedure and caring of the disaster victims.

Nancy has managed to get most of her family into the Red Cross fold. Her daughter Katherine has been a youth volunteer for the past 6 years—kind of growing up in Red Cross. Her husband Hossein is called upon to help all the time—we need help taking down a shelter, or we need a fridge for the stock room, trucks to go pick up donations etc. Her parents are great financial supporters and now that her son Alex is back living in Green Bay we hope to see him in the stockroom helping.

Her commitment to the Red Cross role in our community is unswerving. Thank you for choosing Red Cross Disaster Services to share your time and talents with.

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(L-R: Husband Hossein Mirhashemi, Nancy Stolz Mirhashemi, and daughter Katherine Mirhashemi)

Congratulations, Nancy Stolz Mirhashemi on the 2013 Volunteer of the Year.

Dancing Star & Board Member, Todd Bierowski honored with the Mrs. Crane (Mary) Murphy Award!

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(L-R: Todd’s wife, Blake Bierowski, Todd Bierowski, and his mother Sharon Bierowski)

Todd Bierowski, honored with the Mrs. Crane (Mary) Murphy Award, is about to complete his first year as a member of our Northeast Wisconsin Chapter Board. During that time, he’s been a very active participant and contributor by serving on several board and special event planning committees including the Golf and Dancing with Our Stars events. He’s always working his large network of personal and professional connections to secure sponsorships and donors, which makes him an outstanding board member and ambassador for the American Red Cross.

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Blake & Todd Bierowski with his Mrs. Crane (Mary) Murphy Award.

His ability to raise funds was showcased during the most recent Dancing with Our Stars campaign as he brought in more than $41,000 through a variety of creative fundraising events, including a “Ransom Rally”, in which friends and family donated nearly $10,000 so he could dance come February 23rd. And when it came time to show off those ballroom dance moves, the former division three-college athlete did not disappoint. In fact, he performed despite suffering from two tears in his medial meniscus! We’re happy to report he is now recovered from that injury, and ready to lend a helping hand to the next group of star dancers as they begin the journey he once embarked on.

Congratulations, Todd!

How You Can Start Volunteering By Using the Team Red Cross App

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The American Red Cross recently launched the Team Red Cross App, which allows people to sign up to help, get an overview on basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in their community. Often when a disaster strikes, people in the community want to help but may not know how. The Team Red Cross App puts the power to help in people’s hands.

First, people create an account. Then they learn about different jobs, such as working in a warehouse, handing out supplies or assisting with feeding. When the Red Cross has a need for volunteers, users will receive a notification based on their location. People can instantly accept or decline the volunteer opportunity.

Through lists of simple steps, short videos and quizzes, you will receive a quick orientation—right on your phone—before you show up for a Red Cross volunteer job.

accept missionThe app is free and designed for iPhone and Android smart phones and tablets. Additional features include:

  • Ability for people to share notifications for volunteers with their social network.
  • Earn digital “badges” by completing a job test, accepting a job, sharing the app, recruiting volunteers, etc. The “badges” can then be shared with their social network.
  • Allows people to donate money to the Red Cross and sign up to donate blood.
  • Offers emergency response information that people can share with their friends at the touch of a button.

The Team Red Cross App is the seventh in a series of highly successful Red Cross apps, which are now on more than 3 million mobile devices across the country. More than 400,000 people downloaded the Hurricane App during Superstorm Sandy. Right before and during Sandy, users spent the most time reading the preparedness information, tracking the storm, and reading and then sharing NOAA alerts through social media.

You don’t have to be an experienced volunteer to download the app. Even if you are new, there are job overviews, short videos and quizzes you can use to get a better understanding of what Team Red Cross does. Team Red Cross is looking for people with different backgrounds, talent, and skill levels. The Team Red Cross App can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

Volunteer Driver, Paul Strom Honored with the 2013 Andrew Janssen Transportation Award!

Congratulations, Paul Strom.

This award is in remembrance of a man who truly enjoyed volunteering for the American Red Cross. He was a very caring, compassionate individual who went above and beyond each and every time he got behind the wheel of a Red Cross vehicle. These attributes are exactly why we chose Paul Strom for this year’s award. He became a volunteer driver in August 2009 after retiring from Schneider National. When asked what he was looking at doing, he stated he would like something that would allow him to be more active, and without a doubt he had come to the right place. Since starting he has volunteered 2-3 days per week, provided 5,184 rides and logged 2,592 volunteer hours. When he is not here helping those in need, he enjoys reading and spending time with his family at their cottage. Thank you for your dedication & time. Congrats, Paul Strom on your 2013 Andrew Janssen Transportation Award.

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(L-R: Jody Weyers, Paul Strom, Cathy Strom, and Tina DeGrave Whetung.)

American Red Cross Offers Discount on Babysitting Courses

Area Youth Can Learn How to Handle Emergencies and Build a Business


Don’t be that type of babysitter from the video. Take one of our Red Cross babysitting courses and learn all of the right skills and safety techniques. Get on your way to earning money this summer.

The American Red Cross is offering a 20 percent discount on babysitting course registrations through the end of July.

Three Red Cross babysitting course options are available for 11- to 15-year-olds. The Babysitter’s Basics online course, Babysitter’s Training classroom course and an extended classroom course with Pediatric First Aid/CPR are all eligible for the discount using coupon code INDY200913 (case sensitive) when registering online at redcross.org/takeaclass or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. All registrations made through July 31 are eligible for the discount regardless of when the course takes place.

Babysitter’s Training classroom courses are scheduled from 8:30a.m. – 4:00p.m and are the local American Red Cross offices.

July 24, Oshkosh, WI

July 29, Green Bay, WI

July 30, Appleton, WI

August 3, Oshkosh, WI

August 3, Green Bay, WI

August 22, Iron Mountain, MI

August 24, Green Bay, WI

“All of the course options provide students with a range of training and skills so they can jump start their babysitting career and show potential employers they know their stuff,” said Sara Weier, Preparedness, Health & Safety Manager. “Participants learn to keep themselves and the children they are responsible for safe, including how to handle situations that sitters are likely to encounter such as treating bleeding, bee stings, and burns.”

America’s youth have been learning how to be responsible babysitters by taking American Red Cross training for more than 35 years.

The format of the Babysitting Basics online course allows future sitters to learn at anytime and to go through the content at their own pace. Classroom course participants have hands-on skills practice and receive feedback from expert Red Cross instructors. Youth who complete the extended course received a 2-year certification in Pediatric First Aid/CPR. Additional course information is available at redcross.org/babysitting.

“Parents and guardians want to entrust their children to a babysitter who is trained in childcare skills, First Aid and CPR,” added Weier “Trained and responsible sitters are an invaluable resource.”