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

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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 www.getasmokealarm.org or text the word ‘Alarm’ to 844-811-0100 and follow the prompts.

 

 

Greenfield’s Life-Saver Receives National Award

At only 11 years-old, Abram Suminski of Greenfield, Wisconsin, is a official recipient of the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit for selfless and humane action in saving a life. This is the highest award given by the Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains life by using skills and knowledge learned in the American Red Cross Preparedness, Health and Safety Services courses.

When Abram Suminski was learning first aid basics in an American Red Cross Babysitter’s training course, I doubt he knew how quickly he’d be putting them to use in a real-life situation. Good thing he was prepared though when his younger brother, Logan, was in need. Shortly after, the brothers were playing in their grandmother’s basement when Logan started to choke on a piece a candy. Abram saw his brother turning purple and jumped into action to perform abdominal thrusts. His quick actions dislodged the piece of candy from Logan’s throat, saving his life!

Abram’s instructor from the Babysitter’s training course heard of his life-saving story, and she, along with the Greenfield Rec. Department (where the training took place), nominated Abram for the Red Cross Certificate of Merit, which is signed by the President Barack Obama, who is the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross!

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Abram Suminski holding his award with the help of his younger brother, Logan.

On Tuesday night at the Greenfield Common Council Meeting, Abram received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit. The Mayor of Greenfield, Michael J. Neitzke, and local Red Cross CEO, Patty Flowers, had the honor of presenting the award to Abram. In attendance, were some very special guests including Abram’s family, the vice principle of his school, his Red Cross instructor and the Greenfield Fire Department.

If you’re thinking about signing up for a Red Cross training course, don’t hesitate – be prepared! Information about the Red Cross Babysitting course, First Aid, CPR/AED and other training courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass.

To see live action watch the Fox 6 news clip!

 

Wisconsin Resident Appointed to National Youth Council

A first for the American Red Cross Wisconsin Region

For the first time in Wisconsin, the American Red Cross has a representative appointed to the American Red Cross Nationals Young Professionals Council (NYPC).  For Dan Terrio, a Green Bay resident, this is a culmination of years of service with the Red Cross and he credits the Red Cross for saving his life.

The National Young Professionals Council (NYPC) builds the capacity of the Red Cross by engaging and supporting volunteers and donors between the ages of 21 and 35. The group is led by young professional volunteers including national youth leadership alumni, local young professional Red Cross leaders and club members, as well as subject matter experts in disaster management, fundraising, humanitarian initiatives, volunteer engagement and youth marketing. The Council leverages the work experience and broad skill sets of young professionals in order to further the mission of the Red Cross.

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Mina Witte and Dan Terrio dancing to “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”, Quickstep at the 2016 Dancing with our Stars for the American Red Cross. 

Born and raised on the Stockbridge-Munsee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, Dan Terrio began his Red Cross journey at the age of 14 following his recovery from injuries he sustained in a car and train accident. After his accident, he experienced the power that the American Red Cross has to save lives when he was the recipient of five units of blood.  He made a vow to devote his life to the organization that saved him. More than 19 years later, Terrio has continued his involvement with the Red Cross in a wide variety of ways as a volunteer and fundraiser. He has served as a blood drive coordinator, and now serves as a member of the American Red Cross – Northeast Wisconsin Chapter Board of Directors, and is a member of the local Club Red young professionals group. Most recently he raised $30,000 as a participant in the 2016 Dancing With Our Stars Fundraiser in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Terrio is employed as a National Learning Facilitator with Humana. He is also an award winning motivational speaker, leadership trainer and a strong advocate for blood donation.

Young professionals have no shortage of talent and energy to give to the Red Cross. They provide relief to victims of disasters, organize fundraisers, mentor high school and college volunteers, teach lifesaving training courses and serve on regional boards of directors. In exchange, the Red Cross offers Young Professionals valuable networking and skill-building professional development opportunities, opening doors to new professional connections and leadership positions.

To learn more about youth opportunities in the Red Cross, please visit, redcross.org/volunteer.

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.

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

Volunteer of the Month – September 2016

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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, visitwww.redcross.org/volunteer or contact the Office of Volunteer Resources atvolunteerwisconsin@redcross.org. 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

#proudredcrosser