Historic Wisconsin Flooding; Heroic Red Cross Response

By Amber Finley, American Red Cross

Early morning, on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, Southeastern Wisconsin residents woke to rain waters filling their homes. A few days later, Mother Nature struck again; creating flash floods in the Southwestern part of the state, leaving residents and communities devastated with the worst flooding in Wisconsin since 2008. Governor Scott Walker declared a state of emergencies for all 17 counties within a week.

35538725440_3d0cf8d22f_z

With neighbors looking to begin the clean-up and recovery process, the American Red Cross came in full-force to assist in the efforts.  In all, 10 shelters were opened and neighbors were invited to use the Red Cross facilities to shower, eat a meal, stay overnight, receive minor medical attention and, most of all, a compassionate shoulder to lean on was available 24/7.

35757073802_aefee6cc19_z

To assist individuals in getting on their feet, more than 2,000 flood victims were provided with clean-ups kits filled with necessary items, such as mops, gloves, bleach, all-purpose cleaners, and masks, to begin the clean-up process. The Red Cross also provided more than 5,500 people with essential bulk items like bottled (canned) water; courtesy of Miller Coors, bug spray donated by SC Johnson, and even a warehouse and forklift from Kwik Trip provided a receiving location for the many trucks arriving from the St. Louis warehouse.

The Red Cross also coordinated with community partners such as the Salvation Army, Samaritan’s Purse, WE Energies, Aurora Health Care, and state health services by opening three Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC). The Red Cross MARC’s provided flood victims with a ‘one-stop shop’ to meet with partnering agencies to secure assistance for their long-term recovery.

For an elderly woman, fighting leukemia, Colleen Manderfeld’s nightmare was true as her sump pump failed and her hobby room was full of murky water. Colleen and her two sons began the cleaning process but were soon over-whelmed. Having seen the Red Cross on television she attended the MARC and asked about what assistance may be available.

WI Floodings - July 2017

Colleen Manderfeld with trained Red Cross Volunteer, Laurel Cooper

Because of her illness, any growth of mold or risk of getting sick can be detrimental to her health. Via collaborative efforts, she received cleaning supplies, bleach, vital information and our community partner Samaritan’s Purse will be visiting Colleen’s home to remove damage from the flooding, as well as thoroughly clean, to eliminate the risk of mold. By having multiple resources available to the flood victims, the road to long-term recovery is shortened. “Colleen had a remarkable sense of personal pride and a positive attitude which she learned from her mother. It takes an even bigger person to ask for help.” shares Amber Finley, a disaster responder. “A hug, a meal, financial support and all the little things we could do to show them it was going to be O.K. was what today was about.”

 

The Red Cross is driven by local volunteers who give of their time, talent and treasure to ensure each disaster victim is supported.

Advertisements

Red Cross continues to provide support in Southeast Wisconsin

The American Red Cross continues to provide assistance to Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth County residents after being hit with severe flooding.  Red Cross, with partnering agencies, opened three Multi-Agency Resource Centers where residents were assisted with immediate disaster recovery needs.

To date, the Red Cross has:

  • served 480 clients
  • provided 493 meals
  • distribution 1,689 clean-up kits
  • served 1,748 snacks
  • provided clients with 4,315 bulk items, such as bleach, gloves, and garbage bags

The Red Cross work continues in the Kenosha, Racine and Walworth communities and throughout Western Wisconsin.

If you affected by the storms and have questions or immediate needs, please call 414-345-8678.

How you can help

The Red Cross and the communities it serves rely on local volunteers to provide humanitarian relief during times of disaster. You can become a Red Cross volunteer in your community when disaster strikes. To learn more, visit redcross.org/wisconsin.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation’s blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. The Wisconsin Region serves 5.8 million people across Wisconsin and Houston County Minnesota.  For more information, please visit redcross.org, follow our statewide blog at redcrosswisnews.org and follow us on Twitter @redcrosswis

The Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross responds to nearly 900 disasters a year. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Click redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross Wisconsin Region, 2600 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233

 

Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy to Participate in Dancing with Our Stars Finale

The 10th and final edition of the American Red Cross Dancing with Our Stars (aka DWOS) event, which will be a two-night extravaganza in late February, will feature appearances by professional ballroom dancers Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy thanks to a sponsorship by Jack’s Maintenance. Billed as “ Dancing with Our Stars 2018: All – Star Edition , presented by the Schneider Foundation ”, local community members who participated in previous years are returning to once again be Star Dancers. Peta and Maks will serve as celebrity judges for the Saturday, February 24, 2018 ballroom dance show. They will also make an appearance at a Disco-themed Dance Party fundraiser the night before. Both events will be held in the Grand Ballroom of the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. People in attendance will receive the chance to win personal experiences with Peta and Maks including the opportunity to dance with them.

While this is the first time Maks will be part of DWOS, it marks Peta’s third appearance as she previously participated in 2014 and 2015. Murgatroyd is well known for teaming with Green Bay Packers legend Donald Driver to win Season 14 of ABC-TV’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

People interested in purchasing tickets should send an email to: redcrossdwos@gmail.com.

The goal of this final DWOS campaign is to raise $600,000. In its nine-year history, DWOS has raised more than $2 million. These are the DWOS alumni lacing up their ballroom dancing shoes one more time:

  • Anna Allen
  • Chelsea Anderson
  • Billi Jo Baneck
  • Keith Cronin
  • Kati Donaho
  • Mary Gronnert
  • Tracy Lemsky
  • Emily Matesic
  • Zeb Metzler
  • Bill McGlin
  • Pam Niles
  • Lisa Pritzl
  • Adam Rockman
  • Stacy Stecker
  • Dan Terrio
  • Jody Weyers
  • Marty Williams
  • Kelly Wolff

Paul Kardish of Schneider is also joining the team, taking the place of Chris Lofgren who participated in DWOS 2014.

All funds raised support disaster prevention, preparation and relief, the life-saving training of first aid, CPR/AED classes, collection and testing of blood and blood products, support to military members serving around the globe and international programs.

More event details can be found on the following Red Cross platforms:

Donation page: https://www.crowdrise.com/redcrossallstars

Dancing with Our Stars blog: http://redcrossdwosblog.org

Facebook All-Star Page:  https://www.facebook.com/RedCrossAllStars/

Twitter: @redcrosswis

Use #RedCrossAllStars and #DWOS18 to join the conversation on social media!

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Tornados Deliver Harsh Message To Shawano County

By Marilyn Janke, America Red Cross volunteer

The meteorologist said they were small tornados but the families impacted by them saw them as big ones!

Three tornados touched down in Shawano shawanotornado3County on Wednesday, June 14th leaving numerous outbuildings flattened and one mobile home completely destroyed. The Red Cross responded within hours to set up a reception area for those who might need the respite, sent out people to contact those affected from the storm and alleviated the worry of a resident facing storm damage caused by water cascading into her living room.

On a local farm, the farmer’s adult son was in one of the sheds, when the tornado swooped down with little warning but with its usual roar. All he could do, was grab a chair, surround himself with bales of hay and if the story holds true, lit a cigarette and waited for his demise. He calmly faced the inevitable that turned out to be only the loss of a large shed and not his life. The experience kept everything in perspective.

shawanotornado2.jpg

Interestingly, a small pencil size piece of wood was hammered into a tree without splintering. It was one of those pictures that one hears about but never quite believes.

shawanotornado4.jpg

The long time farmer is now a believer in weird happenings like this. The squawking of peacocks from the side field indicated that their birds were still strutting their stuff. On further inspection it appeared that they were minus a couple of the feathered friends. Strong winds hit and they just flew the coop.

The mobile home did not fare well and was totally destroyed leaving the resident without her home.  The anxiety, grief and uncertainty appeared to be etched in her face. With the support of family and friends, she was literally picking up the pieces. Neither her horse was touched nor was his stable damaged. However, within feet of that was the flattened home. She was carefully going through the debris to find anything that might be usable in the future. The Red Cross provided the chance for her to garner comfort, an idea of what to do next and reassurances that this was in so many ways fixable.

shawanotornado5.jpgThe quiet comfort she gave to this tornado victim was both needed and priceless. While the storm covered a path that left people in the wrong place at the wrong time, the Red Cross was definitely there at just the right time.

 

If you would like to join the dynamic team of disaster responders, please visit redcross.org/volunteer to begin your journey.

Shawano County Twister Photos

Tomah VA Partners with Red Cross to Fish

fish1Story & photos by: Ben Seiler, American Red Cross – Wisconsin Region

Tomah, Wisconsin, June 10, 2017 – Hot temps and humid weather did not keep the residents of the Tomah VA Medical center from getting out and casting a few lines.

fish2

Veteran Jim Hendricks poses with his catch of the day.  Jim had been sporting pan fish all day until he reeled in his 15 in. Large Mouth Bass.

 

As part of a new program, The Red Cross Service to Armed Forces division is now sending volunteers to the Tomah VA. Every other Saturday, volunteers escort residents a quarter mile down to the fish pond, with only one intent, to fish.

Although fishing has been around for 27 years at the location, “A lot of our guys are in wheel chairs, and need to be pushed out which drives the need for additional volunteers,” said Amy Olson, Recreation Therapy Assistant in the Med. Center.

Helping the Veterans get out of the ward, and do something that brings back childhood memories paves way for better treatment and overall a greater welfare for the men, women, and families that have served out country.

Tomah VA SAF Fishing Excursion Photos