Local Fire Department Invites Community Support for American Red Cross Disaster Relief

Partnership generates greater teamwork for local disaster responses

Once again this year, the Fond du Lac Fire Department will be taming the flames of the grill to help the American Red Cross. On April 27, 2012, the Fond du Lac Fire Department will host a brat fry from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Main Street Fire Station (815 S. Main St.) to support local Red Cross disaster relief as part of the annual Heroes for the American Red Cross campaign.

 At every disaster the Red Cross is there, providing basic needs including food, shelter, emotional support and comfort kits at no cost for victims. It is a lesser-known fact that Red Cross also supports emergency response workers by providing food and beverages at the scene of a disaster. Firefighters help the Red Cross in return through their fundraising efforts.

 “The Fond du LacFire Department is honored to be teaming up again this year with the Red Cross to serve-up burgers and brats to the community,” Fire Chief Peter O’Leary said. “The Red Cross provides vital resources to those in need. This is our way to say “thank you” to them for their continued partnership in our community.”

 Heroes for the American Red Cross is a grassroots campaign that invites local business people, school and church groups, civic clubs and individuals to reach for a $1,000 fundraising goal for their local Red Cross chapter.  Although each chapter sets a different fundraising goal, the need is unanimous: to support Red Cross disaster relief, assistance for fire victims, emergency military communications, local Veterans’ Affairs hospitals, life-saving blood collections and research, provide first aid and CPR training and disaster preparedness information.

The brat fry menu includes hamburgers and brats for $2.50 each. Delivery is available for orders over 20 items. To pre-order, call the Main Street Fire Station’s non-emergency number at 920-322-3800 by 9 a.m. on April 27. This year’s brat fry is proudly sponsored by the City of Fond du Lac Fire Department.

 About the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter:

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves the Fond du Lac and surrounding counties with a goal to prevent, prepare for and response to emergencies. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter at 920-231-3590 or visit NewRedCross.org. We can also be found on Facebook (American Red Cross – Northeast Wisconsin Region), Twitter (NEWRedCross) and our blog (newredcrossblog.org).

$393.82 raised from the Army of Piggy Banks!

Before Chris Vanderheyden joined the Lakeland Chapter’s board in 2006, he primarily thought of the blood services the American Red Cross provides. “I really wasn’t aware of the other critical services the Red Cross provides our community,” says Chris.

“I’m constantly spreading this knowledge to my friends, family and business colleagues which not only makes it easier for them to invest financially but also gives them the appreciation of the services we provide the community so they too can spread the word,” says Chris.

“Then the force multiplier concept came into play meaning if I get more people doing the same thing I’m doing, reaching my overall Heroes Campaign goal would be easier to exceed. So I called a few friends asking them if they would consider saving their change in a Red Cross piggy bank for a year and I’d pool our money together in May of 2010 and see how much we can make.”

Tim Davis, of U.S. Paper Mills Corporation, holds two of the banks in Chris's army. "Knowing where the money is going and that it is going to be used to help people in the local community made it easy to want to give."

Next year, Chris plans to expand his army of piggy banks by dropping them off at area businesses.

Chris finds it worthwhile to invest in the positive. “It is so gratifying and gives me the necessary energy to continue to stay involved and recruit others to get involved, not necessarily with the Red Cross, but any charity that excites them and stands for what they believe in. Giving back is critical and the more people, especially young people, who understand that the better off our world will be.”

Chris was born and raised in Green Bay, WI but left the area after college. He and his wife Kathy returned in 1999 to raise their two children. As owner of a consulting business, Double Digit Sales Growth, he has the flexibility to fulfill his responsibilities as a board member and volunteer.

For the past three years, Chris has participated in the Heroes Campaign by asking friends, family members, customers and anyone else he could think of to donate to the cause. “I make it clear that there’s no obligation to give and my feelings won’t be hurt if they decline.”

Last year his campaign to raise money took on new life after Chris and his fellow heroes each received a piggy bank at the Hero’s reception. Chris set the bank on his desk to remind him that the Red Cross needs his help everyday not just the day before a board meeting.

Knowing the difficulty of asking the same people to donate for numerous fundraising events in spring, Chris started to think about how he could fill the bank with change over the course of the next year. Then his goal became bigger with the mission to fill it five times.

Bob Warpinski with his Pig!

(l-r) Tom Vanderheyden, Alex and Jordan filling their piggy bank all the way from Dallas, TX

Phil Danen and his piggy

Partners Investing in the Positive

Local firefighters and Red Cross volunteers have partnered together to ask the community to invest in the positive at the Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade for the Red Cross on Thursday, May 27, from 5pm to 8pm. These dedicated partners, that support their neighbors in times of disaster, are partnering up to ask their community to be Heroes during this fundraiser.

This isn’t the first year several fire departments joined forces to raise money for the local Red Cross Chapter and its Emergency Services programs that help those in crisis right here in our community. This year Firefighter and Red Cross volunteers in uniform will be collecting donations with red buckets outside several local retailers. At many locations, fire departments will bring a fire truck.

While the frightening images of natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes are shocking enough to grab daily headlines, other disasters, such as residential fires, often go unnoticed, even in our own neighborhoods.

Its ability not to grab headlines doesn’t make a disaster any smaller to the individuals and their families being affected. Trained in disaster relief, Red Cross volunteers also support the firefighters and first responders as they help those in crisis.

Red Cross disaster relief focuses on enabling individuals and families affected by disaster to independently resume their normal daily activities by meeting their emergency disaster-caused needs. When a disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, clothing, food, and health and mental health services to address basic human needs.

The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to hospitals treating disaster victims, and helps those affected by disaster to access other available resources.

At the Firefighter’s Bucket Brigade the community will see these partners and heroes working together to ask their neighbors to help them invest in something positive.

You can spot our Heroes at the following locations on Thursday, May 27 from 5 PM to 8 PM:

  • Abrams Shell Station, County D and Sampson Rd, supported by Abrams Fire Department
  • Bay Park Square Mall, 2401 S. Oneida St, supported by Ashwaubenon Fire Department
  • Copps Food Center, 1819 Main St.,  supported by Green Bay East Fire Department
  • Copps Food Center, 2064 Lime Kiln Rd,  supported by Bellevue Fire Department
  • Green Bay Plaza, on corner of West Mason and Military,  supported by Green Bay West Fire Department
  • Infinity Wireless, 975 Main St, by Festival Foods in De Pere supported by De Pere Fire Department
  • Olsen’s Piggly Wiggly, 2465 Lineville Rd, supported by Howard Fire Department
  • Suamico Pro Bowl, 2310 Lineville Rd, supported by Suamico Fire Department
  • Super Ron’s Food Center, 960 Country Rd B, supported by Pulaski Fire Department

Our heroes from the Pulaski Fire Department will also be at Smurawa Bakery, 204 East Pulaski St., on Saturday May 22, from 7 am – Noon.

Our Hero, Chris, spreads the Word While Fundraising

All Dressed up for Dancing with Our Stars Fundraiser: (l-r) Jody Weyers, Jim Gagnon, Chris Vanderheyden, and Mauree Childress

Before Chris Vanderheyden joined the Lakeland Chapter’s board in 2006, he primarily thought of the blood services the American Red Cross provides. “I really wasn’t aware of the other critical services the Red Cross provides our community,” says Chris.

“I’m constantly spreading this knowledge to my friends, family and business colleagues which not only makes it easier for them to invest financially but also gives them the appreciation of the services we provide the community so they too can spread the word,” says Chris.

Chris was born and raised in Green Bay, WI but left the area after college. He and his wife Kathy returned in 1999 to raise their two children. As owner of a consulting business, Double Digit Sales Growth, he has the flexibility to fulfill his responsibilities as a board member and volunteer.

For the past three years, Chris has participated in the Heroes Campaign by asking friends, family members, customers and anyone else he could think of to donate to the cause. “I make it clear that there’s no obligation to give and my feelings won’t be hurt if they decline.”

Last year his campaign to raise money took on new life after Chris and his fellow heroes each received a piggy bank at the Hero’s reception. Chris set the bank on his desk to remind him that the Red Cross needs his help everyday not just the day before a board meeting.

Knowing the difficulty of asking the same people to donate for numerous fundraising events in spring, Chris started to think about how he could fill the bank with change over the course of the next year. Then his goal became bigger with the mission to fill it five times.

Tim Davis, of U.S. Paper Mills Corporation, holds two of the banks in Chris's army. "Knowing where the money is going and that it is going to be used to help people in the local community made it easy to want to give."

“Then the force multiplier concept came into play meaning if I get more people doing the same thing I’m doing, reaching my overall Heroes Campaign goal would be easier to exceed. So I called a few friends asking them if they would consider saving their change in a Red Cross piggy bank for a year and I’d pool our money together in May of 2010 and see how much we can make.”

Next year, Chris plans to expand his army of piggy banks by dropping them off at area businesses.

Chris finds it worthwhile to invest in the positive. “It is so gratifying and gives me the necessary energy to continue to stay involved and recruit others to get involved, not necessarily with the Red Cross, but any charity that excites them and stands for what they believe in. Giving back is critical and the more people, especially young people, who understand that the better off our world will be.”