Welcome Americorps Member: Caitlin Schenck

By Caitlin Schenck, Americorps Member 

My name is Caitlin Schenck Caitlin Schenckand I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay where I completed two bachelor’s degrees in three years’ time.  I received a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning, a B.A. in Political Science and my minor was Public Administration.  As the mother of a toddler, I was unable to become as involved as I would have liked to be during years at UWGB, I was able to gain some amazing work and volunteer experiences when my schedule allowed me to do so.  The last nine months of my college career I interned with the blood services department of the American Red Cross.  When the opportunity presented itself to me, I was really excited because the Red Cross is an organization I have held near and dear to my heart for years.

Originally, I come from a small town near Wisconsin Dells, Reedsburg.  I graduated high school in 2006 and moved to Madison almost immediately after.  In 2008, what has been referred to as the 2008 Midwest Flood happened where several states including my hometown had a flood that almost bankrupted the town’s economy.  Many of my close friends lost their homes and were forced to rebuild.  The Red Cross was the first organization in town after the first responders.  All of the roads were closed for a few weeks and so much traffic was rerouted I couldn’t make it back right away to help, and to this day, I am so thankful those volunteers in the community were there to help all of my loved ones when I couldn’t.  So when I was given the opportunity to become a part of the Red Cross team here in Green Bay, and given opportunities to volunteer as well, I jumped on board and I can happily say they’ve gained a lifer out of me.

In my time as an intern, I enjoyed the work I was doing, helping out at blood drives, but the chapter end of the Red Cross and disaster services was something I was much more interested in.  Then, I got a tip from a friend that there was a part time AmeriCorps position open in Green Bay working in Disaster Preparedness.  I applied, interviewed, and have become a member with AmeriCorps.  Once again, I have the opportunity to work with the Red Cross in Disaster Preparedness and I could not be more excited for this amazing experience!  Now, I will be reaching out to community members and performing preparedness presentations, recruiting new volunteers, and assisting in the Red Cross’ Pillowcase Project which is geared toward 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  I just cannot express how excited I am to watch this next year unfold and to be able to be a part of the Red Cross family once again, gain new experiences, spread the word of the importance of preparedness and hopefully make an impact in the process.

Are YOU Prepared if This Happened to YOU??

30 Neenah homes, businesses lose water service

Neenah crews work on the water supply, Aug. 5, 2013, in an area of the city where coliform bacteria was found. Photo courtesy WLUK/Chad Doran

The American Red Cross will have water available for residents affected by the water shut off until they are able to get water back into their home.  If this happened to you, would you be prepared?

The Red Cross is here to make sure you are as prepared as you possibly can be for potential disasters and other emergencies. These events can strike suddenly, at anytime and anywhere. There are three actions everyone can take that can help make a difference.

Be Red Cross Ready Checklist

To learn more about disaster planning or to download our Red Cross preparedness apps go to:   http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps

Superstorm Sandy Response

Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade Spotlight on Brenton Ward

When local fire departments heard the American Red Cross needed help raising funds they stepped up to support the efforts again. This year increased need has exhausted the disaster response budget so their efforts are much needed. Local firefighters and American Red Cross volunteers have partnered together to ask the community to “invest in the positive” at the Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade for the American  Red Cross – TODAY!  Thursday, May 26, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. These dedicated partners, that support their neighbors in times of disaster, are partnering up to ask their community to be Heroes during this fundraiser.

We always want to know more about our heroes and partners so this year we are spotlighting supporting firefighters and  Red Cross Disaster volunteers. You might only see these partners together during a disaster response or during the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade for the American Red Cross so we are happy they  took the time to answer our questions.

Brenton Ward is the Manager of Public Relations/Public Education with the Suamico Fire Department and was kind enough to answer our questions. 

When did you know you wanted to be a firefighter? Since I was a little kid.

What do most people not know about your job? The amout of time, planning and coordination that goes into making PR/Pub Ed events a success.

What are you most proud of?  That is a hard question.  I would have to say my girlfriend Kim and her Son, Trent.  They put up a lot of time taken away by me doing this.

Why are you volunteering to participate in the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade? To give back to my community.

What have you learned about the Red Cross by working with them? Nice people, easy to work with.  They really do what ever they can to help people.

Who’s your Hero? And why? My Hero…..  Hmmmm….. That would have to be my Dad.  He has always been there and formed me to be the being I am today.

For more information and a list of Bucket Brigade locations across northeast Wisconsin, please visit http://www.newredcross.org.

Abrams Firefighter asks Northeast WI to Invest In the Positive

With the recent storms across the nation and an unprecedented number of local disasters, the American Red Cross needs financial support and Rick Race, Assistant Chief and Training Officer with the Abrams Fire Department, is one of many stepping up to help. Last year the local firefighter and the Abrams Fire Department joined the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade to Benefit the American Red Cross as several fire departments asked their neighbors to invest in the positive.

The Abrams Fire Department was the only fire department with a collection site at a gas station and they took advantage of their unique location by pumping gas to increase donations. This year Abrams Fire Department is offering its support again and so is Race.

He will be assisting both  WBAY’s Heartbreak to Hope Telethon on Tuesday, May 24 and The Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade to Benefit the American Red Cross on Thursday, May 26 in an effort to ask the community to come to the aid of the American Red Cross so it can ensure programs that help individuals and families in times of disaster are appropriately funded.

Last year, we asked the Abrams Firefighter a few questions to learn why he supported the important fundraiser. Race has been a volunteer fire fighter in Northeast Wisconsin for 14 years. The first ten were with the Village of Howard Fire Department and now he is with the town of Abrams Fire Department.

When did you know you wanted to be a firefighter?About 14 years ago, after talking to a friend about his experience with the Howard fire department.

What do most people not know about your job? The amount of hours of training it takes to be a volunteer fire fighter.

What are you most proud of? The fact fact that I give back to the community by being there when they need me. Also, the training we do in the local grade school.

Why are you volunteering to participate in the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade? The Red Cross is always there when we call for the victims and for us so its my way of giving back for all they do.

What have you learned about the Red Cross by working with them? That there is a lot more going on behind the scene than anyone knows. Like the amount of time the volunteers put in to help people they don’t even know.

Who’s your Hero? And why? My dad, For teaching me to be a person and helping when needed.

Watch for Rick Race on WBAY’s Heartbreak to Hope Telethon. You will also find Rick Race and our other heroes at  the Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade for the American Red Cross on  May 26, 2011 – 4p.m.-7p.m.  

For more information and a list of Bucket Brigade locations across northeast Wisconsin, please visit http://www.newredcross.org.

Invest in the positive. Indulge in helping others

Emergency Social Data Summit #crisisdata

Social media has radically changed how people communicate, including their calls for help. Now, people Tweet, add a Facebook status or text about a natural disaster. Emergency and disaster response organizations are working to develop a process to address this and harness the communication power of new media. This American Red Cross blog chronicles that effort, beginning with the Emergency Social Data Summit.

Join us this Thursday to discuss #CrisisData