Hurricane Matthew – WI Responds

Hurricane Matthew. Thousands of people in shelters. Thousands of relief workers responding. Too many lives lost. This disaster is a big one, for all of us, requiring many hands, heads, and hearts pulling together to help others in dire need. Shelter, food, and relief supplies are American Red Cross priorities.

Blood and platelet donations are needed from people in unaffected areas to make up for canceled drives. Check out the stories below. They’ll show you how the Red Cross is helping.

You Just Gotta Be Strong: a video from the American Red Cross features Terry, a shelter resident who was forced to evacuate his home in Tarboro, North Carolina, because of Hurricane Matthew

Haiti Needs Help from All of Usan opinion piece from American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern published in Huffington Post addresses rumors, issues, and concerns about disaster relief responses in Haiti. False information shared on the internet hurts people who need our help the most

Suffering Continues After Hurricane Matthew: a news release from the American Red Cross with details about how the Red Cross is responding to the disaster in the U.S. and in Haiti

From Wisconsin, there are more than 80 Red Cross relief workers deployed to help in the affected areas. More will likely be on their way in the days to come.


Lori and Kevin Peterson and Gerry and Jim Gilmore drove their Emergency Response Vehicles from Wisconsin and are serving thousands of meals, water and distributing cleaning supplies to residents in the hardest hit areas.  

Please support this relief effort. Click here to donate money to Red Cross disaster relief. Click here to make a blood or platelet donation appointment.

Thank you!

Congratulations Jimmy Hazelton, the October 2016 Volunteer of the Month!


Jimmy began volunteering with the American Red Cross in 2001 after the September 11th attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. The retired army veteran—who had been a blood donor since his days of active service—was impressed with the widespread turnout at blood centers around the country following the bombings. “The response was great.” Jimmy says. “Soon after, I heard they needed people to help organize everyone at the donor centers and decided to become involved.”

Fifteen years later, Jimmy still volunteers as a Donor Ambassador at the Chippewa Valley Donor Center in Eau Claire, WI.

“Jimmy is a regular volunteer at Chippewa Valley Donor Center,” says Blood Services Volunteer Representative Panghoua Moua, who nominated Jimmy for the award. “He always shows up for his shifts ready to serve our donors to make sure they have the best experience and is an active individual who is willing to give his time and talent to help his community.”As a Blood Donor Ambassador Jimmy, welcomes blood donors, shares the Red Cross story, and registers donors. He also makes reminder calls, re-schedules donor appointments and attends to donors in the hospitality area when needed. Jimmy volunteers twice a week and also picks up extra shifts whenever he can. Panghoua notes, “over the years, Jimmy has proven to be a leader and now provides support to our department by training new Donor Ambassador Volunteers in Eau Claire Donor Center.” Jimmy’s quick to point out that we all can help, “I’ve been there so long—it’s very logical I show new volunteers what to do.”

He is an active individual who is willing to give his time and talent to help his community and we couldn’t be more grateful! “They do such great work around the world,” Jimmy says of the Red Cross. “I’m happy to be a very tiny cog in it.”

Thank you, Jimmy, for proudly representing the Red Cross in your community and for giving back to others through assisting in the collecting of blood to save the lives of many!

Wisconsin Initiative Expands To Fight our Biggest Disaster Threat

img_3116So proud to announce the Wisconsin Smoke Alarm & Fire Education (WisSAFE) partnership to install 10,000 smoke alarms this year alone! have been distributed with local fire departments along with a call to action for every household to commit to key fire-prevention actions and to practice a fire escape plan.

By bringing the collective strength of Fire Departments across the state together with the Red Cross initiative and drive to reduce fatalities by 25% within five-years, a strategic alliance has begun.

Home fires are the biggest disaster threat to individuals and families in the United States. This campaign is in direct response to that dire threat. Since the beginning of the nationwide initiative 111 lives have been saved through smoke alarm installations and fire prevention and preparedness. A recent save from Columbus, Ohio, credited the smoke alarms installed by Columbus firefighters and Red Cross volunteers with saving seven lives. The fire, reportedly started by a candle, destroyed the family’s home.

“This campaign highlights the strength of collaboration with the end results undeniable,” said Mike Wos, Professional Fire Fighters of WI Charitable Foundation’s Executive Director. “It’s simple. Our partnership will saves lives. We commend the American Red Cross for their partnership to make our communities stronger and safer.”

If anyone in Wisconsin needs a smoke alarm, please register at or text the word ‘Alarm’ to 844-811-0100 and follow the prompts.



Calling Badger, Tiger & Football fans!

TODAY (September 3rd) The Wisconsin vs. LSU game at Lambeau Field will not only be the site of great football, but also a chance to support Louisiana flood relief efforts. The Wisconsin Athletic Department and American Family Insurance joined forces with the American Red Cross to boost support game day by encouraging people to text the word LAFLOODS to 90999. And get this – American Family Insurance is donating $10 for each text – up to $50,000!

Gifts will be matched between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. your gift will be matched! Please share with your friends and fellow fans on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – or even in person!

In addition, the Green Bay Packers and game sponsor Carmex, have each committed $25,000 and Delaware North Concessions has committed $5,000. How amazing – and needed by those affected by the flooding.

We have nearly 100 Red Cross response vehicles fanning through affected neighborhoods to distribute food, water and relief supplies. While our disaster mental health and health services workers are providing emotional support and helping to replace items like lost eyeglasses, wheelchairs and medications.


Although only text donations are being matched today, you can also donate by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

Volunteer of the Month – September 2016


Congratulations Marcia Griffin, the September 2016 Volunteer of the Month!

Marcia has been volunteering with the American Red Cross for 15 years, starting out in Service to the Armed Forces and later moving to Staff Services.

“Marcia came in and trained in Staff Services,” explains DAT Response Supervisor Melisa Myers, who nominated Marcia for the award. “Within a month she was able to take over the Disaster Services Intake queue. This is a huge accomplishment. It means Marcia is talking to every single new disaster services volunteer. She creates accounts for them, registers them for initial courses and gets them to staff points of contact.”

“Not only is Marcia handling incredibly very detailed time-sensitive information, but she has completely taken this off the Staff Services plate,” Myers adds. “This has been a tremendous time saver on the overall department of Staffing.”

On the national level, Marcia also helps deploy disaster responders by preparing Mission Cards—prepaid credit cards that must be loaded with funds so volunteers can travel to needed areas. During major disasters, like the recent flooding in Louisiana, Marcia is part of a team that is on call to assign numbers, verify information and allocate funds for food and lodging to get responders to a scene quickly. “It’s a lot of responsibility,” Marcia says. “There’s a lot of donor money there. We don’t take it lightly.”

“We work long hours during a disaster,” she adds. “There’s a great team, and we all step up to the plate.”

A mother of two and grandmother of four, Marcia also works part-time as a switchboard operator for Mayo Clinic. She is an avid quilter and donates many pieces to hospitals, women’s shelters—“any group that needs one”—through the La Crosse Area Quilt Guild.

The 67-year-old Onalaska resident credits her parents for her desire to help the community.“I love to do charity work,” she says. “My parents put that ethic in me. They instilled in all us kids—you have to give back. And today I preach that to my children.”

“There’s such a need out there,” she adds. “You have to start volunteering.”

Thank you, Marcia, for proudly representing the Red Cross in your community and for giving back to others in so many remarkable ways!

If you would like to join Marcia as a Disaster Services volunteer, or contact the Office of Volunteer Resources The American Red Cross has many volunteer opportunities, including disaster response, supporting military troops, helping with blood donation drives and more. Red Cross volunteers are united by their service and the feeling that in changing others’ lives, their lives are also changed.

Dear Wisconsin,

August has been a tremendously busy month for disaster responses! On the news, we’ve seen the devastation in Louisiana, California, Indiana, Ohio and now several parts of the country are bracing for hurricanes and tropical storms. In Wisconsin, we experienced a significant number of disaster responses. Though these disasters did not capture national media attention hundreds of people experienced the worst day of their lives. In a moment, lives were turned upside down, homes were destroyed, pets died and cherished belongings are gone forever. Some lost loved ones including a family that lost their 2-year-old son in a home fire. Through all this, the American Red Cross was there. Wisconsin volunteers and staff responded at all hours of the day and night providing assistance, guidance and hope. They were there to listen and to help people begin to recover and heal.

In August, the Wisconsin Region…

  • Responded to 81 local disaster events including two Level II Disaster Relief Operations
  • Opened 198 cases helping 463 people
  • Opened and ran a shelter for 6 days and provided 106 overnight stays to people with no other place to spend the night
  • Coordinated 2 Multi Agency Resource Centers providing a one stop recovery shop for clients to meet with numerous agencies and receive support
  • Opened a Reception Center which provided people with casework, health services and crisis counseling
  • Responded to 4 requests to provide hydration and food to first responders

And remember, all of this came on the heels of a Level III flooding response in July!

In addition to helping at home, 77 Wisconsinites accepted assignments in Louisiana, California and now Hawaii. They set aside their lives to travel to communities torn apart by disasters, worked long hours, slept in gyms and more. They worked in shelters, served hot meals, delivered supplies, counseled survivors and did behind the scenes work to raise money, provide logistics support, managed staff and provided operational leadership.

All of you have a role in making sure the Red Cross mission is delivered in Wisconsin and beyond. Whether you respond to disasters, recruit, train and mentor volunteers, raise funds, tell the story, ensure vehicles, supplies and buildings are available or work with partners, please know that you make a difference. So many have benefited and will continue to benefit from Red Cross services and you help make it happen! Thank you!

Warmest regards,

Marytha Blanchard,

WI Disaster Officer



Volunteer of the Month, August 2016 Tim Majcen


roc_blog_img_Tim Majcen

Congratulations Tim Majcen, the August 2016 Volunteer of the Month!

New to the Red Cross in 2015, Tim Majcen began his Red Cross career in Disaster Services as a Disaster Action Team Responder in the North Central Wisconsin chapter. He’s usually called in as the first Red Cross representative at the scene of a fire or other local disaster. Tim’s role is to assess the family’s immediate needs and start them on the process of accessing available Red Cross services.

In the past year, Tim has invested his time in training and opportunities to greatly expand his service through the Red Cross; assisting with client casework, disaster assessment, learning about Mass Care sheltering and becoming an instructor. He is also active in the Fire Preparedness Campaign, helping with smoke alarm installations and fire prevention education. “Tim has shown great enthusiasm and dedication in being trained and integrated into Disaster responses in Oconto, Marinette and Brown Counties,” says Disaster Program Manager Brian Cockerham, who nominated Tim for the award. “He has been a tremendous asset in our northern counties.” The DAT Responder role is crucial in bringing Red Cross services to where they’re most needed, Cockerham says. In addition to helping locally in northern Wisconsin, Tim hopes to participate in national disaster responses as needed.

He also volunteers with two groups, SCORE and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC), to provide coaching and assistance to small businesses and start-ups in the Green Bay area. As a former banker, Tim says volunteering is a way to keep busy since he retired. “This whole retired thing—I’m just doing something else in life,” Tim says. He always thought of retirement as a time for “golf, rocking chairs and fishing,” but found out he needs more activity. “I don’t enjoy doing a lot of that stuff for any length of time,” he says. Volunteering gives him an opportunity to use his skills and learn new ones—which the Red Cross is eager to teach him. “I never realized how much training Red Cross volunteer needs to have,” Tim says. “When I signed up I thought hey, I’m healthy, I’m ready to go, give me a call. It’s been a long process to get prepared for a national call-up.”

Though Cockerham calls him a “great example of what a community based approach to volunteering can look like,” Tim is quick to point out that his work as a DAT responder is only one small role in the much larger need at the scene of a disaster. “There’s nothing glamorous about what I’ve done,” he says. “I’m not pulling people out of burning buildings or anything like that, but I enjoy doing it, and I’m doing something good for the world, and that’s pretty cool.”

Thank you, Tim for proudly representing the Red Cross in your community and for giving back to others in so many remarkable ways!

If you would like to join Tim as a Disaster Services volunteer, visit or contact the Office of Volunteer Resources at The American Red Cross has many volunteer opportunities, including disaster response, supporting military troops, helping with blood donation drives and more. Red Cross volunteers are united by their service and the feeling that in changing others’ lives, their lives are also changed.