World Refugee Day “Vine” Your Support Contest

WRD Flyer (IRC-ECDC-ARC Event)

For World Refugee Day, the American Red Cross is having a Vine Your Support contest. Participating in the contest is easy. Just post a Vine sharing why and/or how you support refugees worldwide and in your local community. Then, send the link to jonathan.dillon@redcross.org. The winning entries will then be reposted on the Restoring Family Links Twitter the week of World Refugee Day and shared during the World Refugee Day event co-sponsored by the American Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee, the Ethiopian Community Development Center, and Lutheran Social Services. The deadline for submitting to the contest is Sunday, June 15th. Below are some ideas for your Vines:

  • Fill-in-the-blank:

o   I support refugees because ________.

o   I support my local refugee community by ________.

o   I celebrate World Refugee Day to/because _________.

o   World Refugee Day is important because _______.

  • Use this year’s themes:

o   UNHRC theme: One family forced to flee is too many

o   Suburban Washington Resettlement Center theme: Celebrating our identities

  • Show your involvement with your local Red Cross chapter or refugee community
  • Get creative!

Remember each contestant is allowed a maximum of five submissions!

Deadline: Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Submit your Vines by sending the link to jonathan.dillon@redcross.org.

For more information on the Restoring Family Links program at the American Red Cross, visit the Restoring Family Links blog and follow us on Twitter!

International Humanitarian Law Offered Saturday, February 15!

m16141632_763x260_Cincinnati_-_IHL_News_BannerThe International Humanitarian Law course will be offered on Saturday, February 15th from 8:30am-12:00pm at the American Red Cross Oshkosh Office.  The Oshkosh office is located at 515 S. Washburn St., 2nd Floor, Oshkosh, WI 54904 in the Tower West building.

This course is intended to raise awareness among Red Cross volunteers, staff and general audiences about the Geneva Conventions, the basic rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), and the role of the Red Cross during armed conflict to implement IHL.  The course will use group activities, class discussion and multiple audiovisual aids to invite participants to reflect on their images and perceptions of armed conflict and explore the powerful and fundamental concepts of human dignity even in the midst of the excesses of war.

Learning Objectives for this course include –

Increase the understanding of and respect for:

  • Human dignity
  • International Humanitarian Law (IHL)
    • Who and what IHL protects
    • How IHL protects people
  • The importance of a public understanding of IHL
  • Meeting IHL and fundamental principles challenges in American Red Cross daily work

This course is recommended for ALL Red Cross personnel. In addition to internal audience, other external groups, and partners are also encouraged to attend, including, military families, veterans groups, university and academic groups, young people, medical personnel, local media, service and civic organizations, etc.

Contact: Melinda Piraino at 414-342-8680 X663 or melinda.piraino@redcross.org to register

American Red Cross Contributes an Initial $6 Million to Support Typhoon Haiyan Response Efforts in Philippines

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

Jasmin Ursal is staying at evacuation centre in Bogo. Photo: Jarkko Mikkonen/Finnish Red Cross

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – The American Red Cross today announced an initial contribution of $6 million in support of the global Red Cross response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. These funds will be used to distribute relief items, repair and rebuild shelters, provide healthcare and ensure access to clean water and sanitation systems.

“We are grateful for the American public’s generosity and compassion following what has been called one of the strongest storms in world history,” said David Meltzer, chief international officer for the American Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is in a unique position to help provide support by airlifting relief supplies from its warehouses around the world, providing trained disaster responders specializing in damage assessment and telecommunications, and by channeling its financial support to the Philippine Red Cross and its more than 500,000 staff and volunteers and our other global partners in the Red Cross network – all of which go to providing relief from this devastating storm.”

In addition to financial assistance, the American Red Cross is lending people, expertise and equipment to this effort with four specialists already on the ground in the Philippines. These include two people who specialize in telecommunication and who are traveling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment.

The Philippine Red Cross has extensive experience in search and rescue and large-scale relief and recovery programs. The Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff members and an estimated 500,000 active volunteers engaged in this disaster response. Their volunteer relief teams continue to provide assistance in the hardest hit communities, including assisting in search and rescue efforts.

suppliesThe Philippine Red Cross has begun distributions of emergency supplies and has provided meals to people affected by the storm. On Sunday, 6,000 packs of relief supplies were sent to Leyete and other affected communities. However, supply delivery in the worst affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by destroyed infrastructure, blocked roads, and downed communication lines.

Specialized emergency response teams from Red Cross societies across the globe are moving into the Philippines to assist the Philippine Red Cross. These include teams with expertise in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

“A global Red Cross relief effort is well underway and we are working closely with our international partners to help get aid where it is needed,” said Meltzer.

Despite the tragic aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, thousands of survivors are grateful for their lives. The Philippine Red Cross worked closely with local disaster authorities to support preemptive evacuations, helping move more than 125,000 families to safer shelter prior to the storm making landfall. The Philippine Red Cross also disseminated early warning messages and safety tips in areas along the path of the typhoon.

Here in the United States, the American Red Cross is helping to reconnect families separated by the typhoon and has activated its family tracing services. If people are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phone lines are down. If people are unable to reach loved ones, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing case.

The American Red Cross expects to make additional contributions to support the humanitarian response in the coming weeks. Donations received from American Red Cross and other Red Cross partners will aid the Philippines relief and recovery efforts through the Philippine Red Cross and possibly other organizations as experts on the ground determine the best way forward.

HOW TO HELP Those who want to help can go to www.redcross.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS to donate to typhoon relief. People can also mail in a donation to their local Red Cross chapter. Gifts to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific crisis, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other crises.

In a new partnership, Facebook is making it possible for users to donate directly to the American Red Cross either through a notification in News Feed, or directly on the Red Cross Facebook page. This is the first time that the American Red Cross has engaged in such a large-scale fundraising program with a social platform. For the Red Cross that means that with the click of a button on Facebook, we can connect people who want to help with those who are so desperately in need in the Philippines. This Facebook effort for the Philippines in the United States will continue through November 15.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Videos: Frequently Asked Questions about International Disasters

Commonly asked questions regarding international disasters and how the American Red Cross responds.