Give the gift of life this Thanksgiving with blood donation

Red Cross to thank donors with pies at select Thanksgiving blood drives

As Thanksgiving approaches, many people reflect on their blessings and look for ways to give back to the community or someone less fortunate. Giving an hour of your time and donating blood could offer a hospital patient the most valuable gift of all – the gift of life. The American Red Cross is encouraging all eligible donors to donate blood. It’s the gift that doesn’t cost a thing and can offer another holiday season to someone in need.

Thanksgiving2The Red Cross will thank presenting donors Nov. 25-29 with a complimentary pie at select blood drives in Iowa and Wisconsin. As an added incentive during the week of Thanksgiving, all presenting donors will receive a red, commemorative Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

“While the need for blood is ongoing, the supply isn’t – especially around the holidays,” said Greg Novinska, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “Long holiday weekends pose an extra challenge, when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends. Without the generosity of volunteer blood donors, we would not be able to ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.”

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Northeast Wisconsin:

  • Nov. 25-27 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Green Bay Blood Donation Center, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay.
  • Nov. 27 from 12:30-5 p.m. at Saint Francis Xaviers Parish at 220 S. Michigan St. in De Pere.
  • Nov. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 991 Pilgrim Way in Green Bay.

Thanksgiving-Pie

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Your Top Three Disaster Related Questions Answered

question-markIn times of disaster people have many questions on what is the best way to help.  Here are the answers to the top three questions we are receiving regarding the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

If you have additional questions, please let us know by calling 920-468-8535.  

Q: How can I volunteer and help the tornado victims?

A: We appreciate the offers to volunteer, but right now we have enough trained disaster workers in Oklahoma to help. Please consider, contacting your local Red Cross chapter to get trained so that you might be able to help in the future. Please visit www.redcross.org/support/volunteer/disaster-volunteer for more information.

Q: Why won’t the Red Cross take small quantities of donated goods?

A:  After a disaster, financial donations are the quickest and best way to get help to the people who need it most. The Red Cross isn’t equipped to handle a large influx of donations like household items, clothing or food that may or may not be useful to victims. It takes time and money to sort, process, transport and then distribute donated items—whereas financial donations can be accessed quickly and put to use right away. Plus, financial donations allow us to be flexible in the help that we provide and ensure we can provide what people need most. As an added benefit, financial donations allow the Red Cross and disaster victims to purchase items locally, stimulating the economy of the disaster-affected area.

Even a small financial donation can go further than you might think. For instance, $2 can provide a snack to a child who just lost his or her home, and $10 can provide a hot meal to that same child. You can help people affected by disasters by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Q: Does the Red Cross need blood donations?

A: The Red Cross stands ready to help meet the blood needs of patients in and around Oklahoma City if needed. There is currently enough blood on the shelves to meet patient demands. However, those with type O negative blood are encouraged to give blood when they are able. The role of Red Cross Blood Services in this response is as a secondary supplier of blood products to area hospitals.

All eligible blood donors can schedule an appointment to give in the days and weeks ahead by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org. With many people scheduling appointments to give blood, redcrossblood.org may run slower and wait times on 1-800-RED CROSS may be longer than usual. No Red Cross facilities were affected by the storms, but some blood drives may be canceled as recovery and clean-up begins. To find out if a blood drive has been canceled or to reschedule an appointment to give blood or platelets, call 1-800-RED CROSS.

How the Red Cross Is Using Donations to Help Sandy Victims

Author: Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross published in The Daily Beast

The American Red Cross has received widespread support after Superstorm Sandy, and along with those contributions have come questions—including in stories that have run on The Daily Beast—about how those donations are being put to use, and what we’re going to do with the remaining funds. These are legitimate questions, and the Red Cross is committed to transparency and welcomes this opportunity to answer them.

RED CROSS

People receive free food from the American Red Cross in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood in Queens, N.Y. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

In my more than four-and-a-half years at the Red Cross, I’ve been no stranger to disasters, whether tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes. But what struck me was the massiveness of Sandy’s fury, the miles and miles of devastation that just seemed endless.

The destruction wrought by Sandy also had a personal element for me: I grew up and spent most of my life in the New York/New Jersey area, and my heart goes out to all those affected by the storm. While I have been to the impacted areas several times since Sandy hit, I will never get used to looking into the eyes of someone who lost everything. At the same time, I am also struck by the determination of these individuals to start over, rebuild, and power through their loss.

 

So how exactly are we helping them? While the American Red Cross is a grassroots network of local chapters and volunteers, the sheer size of Sandy required us to bring people and resources from all over the country to help our chapters in New York and New Jersey. Over the past seven weeks, we have mobilized more than 15,800 trained workers, 90 percent of whom are volunteers. We have also worked closely with other nonprofit and government partners, because a disaster this size is too big for any one organization to handle.

This is the biggest U.S. response we have mounted in over five years. Even before Sandy hit, we opened shelters across multiple states, and we have been providing help every day since. So far, we have:

• Served more than 8.9 million meals and snacks.

• Handed out more than 6.7 million relief items such as cold-weather items and clean-up supplies.

• Provided more than 103,000 health services and emotional-support contacts for people living in very tough conditions.

• Supplied more than 81,000 shelter stays, more than half of the total number of Sandy shelter stays (158,000) provided by a range of groups.

And we still have much more work to do.

Of the $202 million in donations and pledges we have received to date, we believe that approximately $110 million of that will be spent on our emergency-relief operations by the end of December. Remaining Sandy-related donations will be used by the Red Cross to meet longer-term needs—what we call “recovery”—of people affected by this disaster.

Our initial recovery efforts are expected to cost at least $60 million; any remaining funds will be allocated to additional long-term efforts. We have developed a recovery plan by working closely with other nonprofits and government agencies—including FEMA—to coordinate efforts and identify unmet needs.

While I have been to the impacted areas several times since Sandy hit, I will never get used to looking into the eyes of someone who lost everything.

Our federal government partners have requested that we focus our assistance first on three groups of people who have already been identified as needing aid:

• People in New York and New Jersey whose homes were destroyed and are in need of either repair assistance or longer-term rental housing;

• People whose homes were destroyed in states which did not receive federal disaster money;

• People with demonstrated needs that exceed what can be met by insurance, FEMA, and state resources.

This means that part of our efforts over the next several months will involve one-on-one work helping those who have trouble finding assistance on their own. These are the types of activities a survivor doesn’t want to go through alone, and we can provide the expertise, as well as a shoulder to lean on during the process. That includes helping people fill out insurance paperwork, identify child-care resources, find new housing, and connect with social services in their communities.

In addition, we also will be supporting projects and programs of other nonprofit groups in the New York and New Jersey area, such as working with several local food banks to help Sandy survivors have access to food during the new year.

It is the generous support of so many people and businesses across the country have enabled us to bring help and hope to tens of thousands of people impacted by Sandy. We are committed to being good stewards of these contributions entrusted to us—and we will be there for the survivors of this devastating storm as they fight for their future

Majority of Americans Plan to Give to Charity this Holiday Season Despite Continued Slow Economy

American Red Cross Poll Finds Americans Want to Give Meaningful Gifts

Even as the nation weathers an economic downturn for a third straight holiday season, the majority of Americans are more committed than ever to charitable giving, according to a new American Red Cross poll.

A telephone survey of 1,020 adults conducted earlier this fall found that even though 67 percent of Americans didn’t think the economic downturn would last this long, they still want to give to charities, with more than seven out of 10 saying they expect to donate more or about the same this holiday season as they did last year.

“No matter their personal financial hardships, Americans still want to give,” said Steve Hansen, the local RedCross Chapter Executive. “Rather than giving a gift someone won’t use, people want to give meaningfully and know their gift is making a difference.”

Other key findings include:

  • Four in five (80 percent) of respondents felt their finances are either the same or worse than they were last year.
  • Sixty-eight percent of Americans believe that because of the economy, it’s important to give something to charity. That’s a 10 percentage point increase over the 58 percent who felt that way last year.
  • More than half (55 percent) of Americans say they feel bad about spending money on gifts people might not use.
  • Four in five (79 percent) agreed that they would rather have a charitable donation in their honor than get a gift they wouldn’t use.
  • About one in five (19 percent) of respondents plan on giving blood this holiday season.

Despite the tough economy, the survey shows that Americans still feel very charitable during the holidays. Nearly six in 10 (57 percent) plan to give to charity between Thanksgiving and Christmas. In addition, four in five Americans agreeing that helping someone less fortunate is an important part of their holiday tradition.

However, of those who would not be donating to charity, most say they either can’t afford do it or they have already given their charitable gifts for the year. More than a third (36 percent) of people say they are not planning to make a financial donation this holiday season, and nearly half of them (49 percent) say it’s because they can’t spare the money right now.

This is the third year the Red Cross has conducted a holiday giving national survey, and this new survey shows that people continue to cut back on their holiday spending in a number of areas. The 2011 survey found that 45 percent were planning to cut back on spending for travel and for holiday decorations, 40 percent were reducing spending on parties, and more than a third (35 percent) were cutting back on gifts. The area seeing the smallest reduction was charitable donations, as about a quarter (26 percent) said they were planning to cut back in this area.

However, this cost cutting comes with some guilt: 43 percent of Americans reported feeling badly about spending less on gifts for friends and family.

Men and Women Take Different View on Charity and Gift Giving

The survey found men and women varied significantly on their views regarding charity and gift giving during the holidays. Women tended to be more concerned about giving meaningful and practical gifts, with 61 percent of women feeling bad about spending money on gifts people might not use – 13 points higher than the 48 percent of men who responded that way.

While more women than men (70 percent to 61 percent, respectively) say charity helps them get into the holiday spirit, men are more likely to spend more on donations. About a third of men (32 percent) plan to donate more than $100, compared to a fifth (20 percent) of women who plan to donate that much.

Men and women also differ on the effects of the economic downturn. Nearly two thirds of women (66 percent) say the economy has helped them focus on what’s important during the holidays, 17 points higher than the 49 percent of men. In addition, more than seven in 10 women (71 percent) say they feel badly they can’t give more to charity this year, compared to 51 percent of men.

American Red Cross Holiday Catalog Offers Meaningful Gifts

As Americans look for more meaningful ways to give this holiday season, the Red Cross is offering its 2011 Holiday Giving Catalog, which includes a variety of symbolic gifts, donations that support Red Cross programs.

Donors can help vaccinate an entire village, provide food and shelter to a disaster victim, help purchase items like phone cards and supplies for members of the armed forces or help supply basic necessities to families in desperate need in countries across the world.  Catalog purchases also come with greeting cards to show others your support during the holidays. The purchase of each gift item is a tax-deductible contribution and provides support to the mission of the Red Cross.

“The Red Cross giving catalog is a way for Americans to give something that means something,” Steve explained. “Rather than giving a gift that could be easily forgotten, we hope Americans think of the Red Cross for gifts that could make a lifetime of difference.”

Survey details: Telephone survey of 1,020 U.S. Adults 18 years and older on September 29 – October 2, 2011 conducted in ORC International’s CARAVAN®  survey  using a landline-cell dual-frame sampling design. Margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. 

About the Local Chapter 

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NEWRedCross.org. Find us on facebook.com/newredcross, twitter.com/newredcross, the local blog is newredcrossblog.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; 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 mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Recoveron Packers Tailgate Party is Back……

Recoveron Restoration is sponsoring a Packers Tailgate to raise funds for the American Red Cross! They will be serving food and refreshments. Donations are encouraged by Recoveron guests and the general public to help the American Red Cross humanitarian efforts.

The tent set up 3 hours before the next five home games:

 Thursday, September 1st vs.Kansas City(7:00 p.m. kickoff)

Thursday, September 8th vs.New Orleans(7:30 p.m. kickoff)

Sunday, October 2nd vs.Denver(3:15 p.m. kickoff)

Sunday, October 16th vs.St. Louis(12:00 p.m. kickoff)

Monday, November 14th vs.Minnesota(7:30 p.m. kickoff)

 The tent will be located at2036 S. Ridge Road (one block south of Kroll’s West).

Please stop in and say hello and thank you for the support!

Fast Facts: Hurricane Irene

Saturday night, the Red Cross operated or supported nearly 500 shelters with more than 27,000 residents. Shelters now stretch from North Carolina to Maine. We have been opening and supporting more shelters as the storm progresses, and we expect those numbers could increase with power outages and possible flooding.

Our main focus right now is providing people with shelter and food and we’re putting the full force of the Red Cross behind our response. That means we have:
• Relief operations in more than a dozen coastal states.
• Thousands of trained disaster workers helping people from North Carolina to New England.
• More than 250 feeding vehicles – or more than two thirds of our entire fleet – ready to go into neighborhoods as soon as conditions permit. This includes every Red Cross feeding truck east of the Rocky Mountains.
• Tens of thousands of prepackaged meals are being positioned along the coast and we are working with our partners to make sure that we have kitchens positioned in the right place after the storm moves through.

The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that community members in affected areas to consider donating blood once the storm passes through and it’s safe to do so. Irene has already caused cancellation of more than 50 blood drives and the loss of nearly 1,500 of blood collections along the East Coast at a time when the blood supply is already low.

People should register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let friends and family know where they are as Hurricane Irene hits the East Coast. They can register for Safe and Well by going to redcross.org.

This is a big disaster across multiple states, and the response will cost millions. If you can help, we encourage you to click, text or call to donate to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit http://www.redcross.org or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

How to Help (and Not Hurt) When You Donate or Volunteer

Posted on National Red Cross Blog on June 7th, 2011 by Gloria Huang

This post is cross-posted from the UPS Blog. As a long-time partner of the American Red Cross and a member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program, UPS provides both financial support of our disaster response mission, and shipping assistance to get relief supplies where they are needed, when they are needed. One of our partners at the UPS Foundation, Joe Ruiz, wrote this blog post which identifies the challenges NGOs face with unsolicited donations of goods.

July 12, 2010 – American Red Cross Disaster Field Supply Center in Hattiesburg, MS. Red Cross volunteer Raymond Miller works with UPS volunteers Mellonese Lee, Vicki Bridges, Tom Scott, Trent Ward and John Williams to load pallets with cots that will be pre-positioned along the Gulf Coast.

I just returned from the annual meeting of the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) in Kansas City, just hours from Joplin, Missouri. The outpouring of support from the public has been unbelievable. But based on feedback I heard from first responders at the meeting, unsolicited donations of water, clothes and other items have significantly challenged relief efforts. One relief organization told me they have thousands of cases of water in their warehouse. The AP highlighted this issue in a story about junk donations creating problems for relief agencies helping tornado victims in Alabama.

In my role with The UPS Foundation, I receive hundreds of calls asking for UPS to ship unsolicited goods. The challenge is that these donations don’t meet the needs of the relief agencies that are helping victims. UPS does not transport collected items from unsolicited donors for relief efforts. Instead, we’ve established in-kind agreements with relief organizations like the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, CARE, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the Aidmatrix Network. Our goal is provide logistics support to deliver the right items to the right place at the right time.

In 2010, UPS transported over 3 million pounds of urgent relief supplies for these agencies, and approximately $2 million in free shipping in response to disasters around the world.

When disaster strikes, compassion and concern often stir people to help. But what’s the best way to truly provide help … and not hurt relief efforts? Here’s what disaster relief agencies shared with me.

Donate Money

Financial contributions are often the best kind of donation to make. There are many relief organizations with considerable experience in areas such as clean-up, mass feeding, mass sheltering, first aid, crisis counseling, child care, home repair and pet care. When the public supports these organizations with financial donations, it helps ensure a steady flow of important services to the people in need after a disaster. The NVOAD offers a list of relief organizations involved in preparedness, prevention, response and recovery in the U.S at nvoad.org. To learn more about relief organizations involved in international disasters, visit interaction.org.

If Donating Goods, Verify Items Will be Accepted and Used

Before taking action, contact a relief agency to confirm what items are needed. Do not begin collecting, packing or shipping until you have a known recipient who will accept the donation. It often takes a week before first responders can assess local needs after a disaster. The Aidmatrix Network connects donors to the needs of relief agencies who respond to disasters. Agencies post their needs on the site, so donors can match them. When donors match the items in demand, either the agency or UPS will provide priority transportation. Make sure shipments of donated goods are well packed and labeled. Put yourself in the shoes of the person on the receiving end of the shipment and think about making the unpacking, warehousing and distribution as simple as possible. For example, list contents on the outside of the box to make it easier to sort items.

If you are collecting goods, but don’t see a match at the Aidmatrix Network, consider holding a garage sale and donating the proceeds to the agency of your choice.

For Volunteers, Take Advantage of Disaster Assistance Training

Before the next disaster strikes, sign up for training. Volunteers are encouraged to affiliate with an organization involved in disaster response and recovery. Plan to be as self-sufficient as possible. If there is a volunteer center in the area, it is an excellent source of information about opportunities to help after a disaster. Check out HandsOnNetwork.org.

The generosity and kindness of people including our own customers does a lot to help communities heal from tragic consequences of disasters. However it’s important to first coordinate the help with experienced disaster relief organizations so that people in need of help receive it in the most timely and effective manner.