3 Reasons and 4 Ways to #Help1Family on Red Cross Giving Day

GD16_SavetheDate2_FacebookWe need your help for one very special day.   Nearly every eight minutes, the American Red Cross extends a helping hand to a family in need that has lost everything – the roof over their heads, their clothes, and their most cherished possessions – to a home fire.   In order to continue to provide the emergency services that our neighbors depend on each and every day, we need you to #help1family.

On April 21, you have a chance to help families in need whenever and wherever they need it by participating in the Red Cross’ Giving Day to #help1family. A donation of just $88.50 can provide a family with a day’s worth of food, plus blankets and other essentials.

We are proud of the work we accomplished to help people in Wisconsin last year.  Here are just a few of our stats:

  1. Installing 2,145 smoke alarms in the community impacting 3,000 people
  2. Training 107,869 people in Red Cross lifesaving courses
  3. Collecting 209,608 units of blood and blood products from 87,850 donors
  4. Responding to 828 disaster incidents, servicing 4,118 individuals

SGD16_FamilyIcons_Facebooko what can you do?  Spread the word about Giving Day – the more people who support Giving day means we can help more families.  Use your social media channels to reach out to friends and family and ask them to donate to #help1family by visiting redcross.org/giving day.
Here are 4 ways your donation will #help1family:

  1. Supporting a family in urgent need: provide funding to give a family a day’s worth of food, blankets, and other essentials.
  2. Supplying warm meals: help provide hearty, comforting meals to people impacted by disasters.
  3. Providing clean-up kits after a disaster strikes: make clean-up kits available for families in need that include vital items like a mop, bucket, and disinfectant.
  4. Deploying an emergency response vehicle for a day: Red Cross workers travel to impacted neighborhoods in fully stocked Emergency Response vehicles to provide food, water and critical relief.

Imagine the impact that we could have on our community if everyone did their part.  Please make a gift on April 21, 2016 and help us to #help1family.

Thank you.

~ Patty Flowers, Regional CEO

It’s National Volunteer Week!

The American Red Cross Wisconsin Region is honoring all volunteers and the work you do in the community during National Volunteer Week, April 10-17.

As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for Red Cross volunteers and am reminded that volunteerism and the human spirit are beautifully intertwined. I truly believe Red Cross volunteers are the brightest and most uplifting people in our communities. The best part of my job is getting to know you and seeing you in action.  Recently, I had the chance to talk with a new volunteer who was very excited to join our team. When I asked what motivated her to get out of her bed in the middle of the night to respond to the scene of a fire she said, “I am able to do it, so why wouldn’t I?”. Another volunteer will achieve a major milestone this August – volunteering with the Red Cross for 60 years! His favorite saying is, “part of our payment for being on this earth is to give back”. 

Last month, a Red Cross volunteer turned 100-years-old and celebrated by hosting a blood drive with a goal of collecting 100 pints (1 for each candle). She blew that away – 114 pints were donated in her honor. While Red Cross volunteers have diverse backgrounds and perspectives, you share many similarities. Red Cross volunteers share an incredible selfless spirit and an urge to do good for others.

I am honored to work alongside all of you and am inspired each day because of the compassion you show. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with the American Red Cross! 

Patty Flowers

Chief Executive Officer

American Red Cross – Wisconsin Region

Home Fire Safety: More Important Than Ever



A room from Doreen’s home that was destroyed by fire.

By Dawn Miller, American Red Cross Volunteer


It was about 12:30 am and a strange noise went off and someone shouted, “Evacuate! Evacuate!” Doreen Eggers knew her husband, Doug, was at work and she was home alone.
She jumped out of bed and ran down the hall. Doreen had purchased a new smoke alarm and the smoke alarm was telling her to evacuate.

She got to the second bedroom door where the doorknob had fallen off the door and a bit of smoke was coming through the hole.  She reached out to touch the door finding it was cold, so she opened the door and smoke came billowing out.


Structural damage left by the fire making the home unlivable.


Doreen says adrenaline and your mind take over, “When the time comes you just worry about getting yourself out and your family.”

She turned around and grabbed her phone, keys and most importantly her two dogs, a Chihuahua and Shih Tzu. After she corralled the dogs outside she called 9-1-1.

The police and fire departments were on the scene quickly. As she talked with them she realized her feet were cold on the December ground. She had no shoes. Doreen remembers seeing her purse and shoes sitting right there but it all happened so fast she couldn’t grab everything.

A neighbor lent her slippers and another let them come inside to talk with the police department and the American Red Cross. The American Red Cross was able to support with resources and information on what to do next.

The Fire Department’s preliminary inspection indicated an electrical fire. Doreen says much was lost in the fire including large furniture and the home was unlivable.


The damage left by the fire in a bedroom of the home.

She remembers thinking about losing everything she worked hard for but that material things can be replaced. “You really do feel lucky to be out. You do feel lucky to be alive. That’s the most I’m thankful for- the dogs and I got out. The rest of the stuff can be replaced,” she says.

Doreen and Doug stayed with a neighbor and were able to find another rental home that allowed pets just 4 days later. Doreen says many came to help them get settled in to their new home and gave donations of clothing, furniture and other help. “It makes me want to give more after seeing how many people with their big hearts gave us. They didn’t have a lot to give either but they gave.  It meant a lot to me and makes me want to do more than I did before,” says Doreen.


The fire so hot it melted the window panes.

She wants to encourage others to check their alarms to make sure they are working. She had purchased a new carbon monoxide detector because she had concerns about the furnace and it also included a smoke alarm. The new alarm is what got her out of the house. She also says it is very important to have an escape plan because it all happens so fast.

Doreen says many think it won’t happen to them but it’s important to have a working smoke alarm. “If I had not gotten that I would not be here. It really is true. If you don’t have a working alarm you are not going to be here. And a fire can happen anywhere.”


The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin will be holding a county-wide Home Fire Rally in Brown County on April 23, 2016.  The event will kick off at Ashwaubenon High School starting at 8am.  Teams of 3 each, installer, safety educator & documenter, will then be out until 1000 smoke alarms are installed or 4pm, whichever comes first.

If you or someone you know would like to be a part of this life-saving event, the Red Cross is still looking for more volunteers to sign up at http://www.redcross.org/browncounty.  Register by April 21st.

Or if you or someone you know are in need of smoke alarms, go to http://www.getasmokealarm.org or call toll free at 888-231-3590 to have a FREE smoke alarm installed.  The Red Cross will need to know the name, address  & phone number. Also, by request, there are some bed shaker alarms for people that are deaf.