1st National Bank “HERO” for local American Red Cross

By Vicki Jenks, American Red Cross Board Member and Volunteer

On Monday, April 29th, the local American Red Cross received a most generous $1,000 gift from 1st National Bank, presented by President, Tom Jensen.

Vicki Jenks, Joyce Petit, Thomas L. Jensen and Betsy

Pictured left to right along with Tom are:  Vicki P. Jenks, American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Board Member, Joyce Petit, long-time Red Cross Disaster Action Team member, and Betsy Wandtke, Red Cross Major Gifts Officer.

Known well as a supportive community organization, 1st National Bank originally became involved with HEROES last year holding a Casual For a Cause Day with all donations assisting the local American Red Cross work in Green Lake and Waushara counties.  The expansion to official HERO ($1,000 donation) allows the Red Cross to further its work both in local disaster relief and also Service to the Armed Forces (SAF).

 “The community of Berlin is marvelously supportive in countless ways. As a relative newcomer to east central Wisconsin, every day holds a heartwarming story of the gigantic hearts of its altruistic, thoughtful citizens,” said Vicki P. Jenks, HEROES volunteer coordinator, Wild Rose.

Every 9 minutes in the US, an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (D.A.T.) responds to some sort of disaster—the most common being RESIDENTIAL FIRES.  The local D.A.T. team springs immediately into action offering such things as temporary shelter, food, clothing, and bedding and linens.  Additionally, the Red Cross can replace prescription medications and vision wear lost in the fire.  Perhaps most importantly, however, is the INVALUABLE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT the team members provide.  Long after the initial disaster, the Red Cross continues its follow through.

Although Service to the Armed Forces (S.A.F.) has been an integral program to the Red Cross since 1905, it is new to HEROES this year.  The American Red Cross is the only entity in the world mandated by Congress to validate and relay emergency messages to military service member across the globe.  On average, 400 emergency messages are relayed daily.  Perhaps a service member is able to arrive home in time for a funeral of a family member due to the assistance of the Red Cross.   Additionally, Red Cross volunteers work in our two regional VA hospitals in Iron Mountain and Milwaukee.  Closer to home, volunteers assist distributing Holiday Mail for HEROES at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.