American Red Cross Had 137 Big U.S. Relief Operations in 46 States in Disaster-Filled 2011

At home and across the globe, Red Cross relief efforts large part of the scene.

WASHINGTON, Monday, December 19, 2011 — The American Red Cross helped hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were forever changed by disasters in 2011, from tornadoes, floods, wildfires and hurricanes in the U.S. to earthquakes and other disasters around the world.

Throughout the year, the American Red Cross supported the people of Japan and Haiti, while launching 137 domestic disaster relief operations in 46 states and territories to help people affected by fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes across the United States. In addition, major international disasters included theJapanearthquake and tsunami response and the continuing work following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

“The number of lives affected by large disasters in the past year is simply staggering,” said Charley Shimanski, Senior Vice President for Red Cross Disaster Services. “Devastating tornadoes, flooding and wildfires wiped out entire neighborhoods. Through it all, the Red Cross, our partners, and communities nationwide responded, offering people shelter, food and comfort.”

In the United States, the Red Cross opened 1,019 shelters and provided more than 130,000 overnight stays. 27,622 trained disaster workers served more than 6.7 million meals and snacks and distributed more than 2.6 million relief items. Health and mental health workers provided more than 133,000 consultations and Red Cross workers opened 16,752 cases to help people get on the road to recovery.

 Tornadoes, flooding and wildfires ripped across the country

 State after state faced the powerful force of tornadoes in 2011. Devastating winds plowed through many neighborhoods, leaving destruction in their wake. Through it all, the Red Cross was on the scene, providing a safe place to stay, food to eat and supplies to help with the clean-up. The Red Cross helped people affected by large-scale tornadoes in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin in 2011.

A large part of the country – almost 20 states – was impacted by flooding in 2011. The Red Cross launched 27 relief operations related to flooding in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont.

Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused the need for relief operations in more than a dozen states.

Thousands of disaster workers were deployed and more than 250 Red Cross feeding trucks were sent into neighborhoods to distribute meals and clean-up supplies. In New York and New Jersey alone, the Red Cross provided almost 34,000 overnight stays in shelters and distributed more than 840,000 meals and snacks.

Wildfires consumed almost four million acres across the state of Texas, and destroyed thousands of acres in New Mexico, Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma. Again, the Red Cross stepped in to help in the fire-ravaged neighborhoods, providing a safe place to stay, food to eat and emotional support for those forced to leave their homes, as well as firefighters and first responders

Japan earthquake, tsunami changed people’s lives forever

In March, a powerful earthquake and resulting tsunami struck Japan, claiming more than 15,000 lives, as well as damaging and destroying buildings, roads and nuclear power plants. Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless and lives were changed forever.

The Japanese Red Cross responded immediately, distributing food, emergency kits, blankets and supplies. Their medical teams provided health services, while other volunteers provided emotional support and social assistance.  More than 80,000 volunteers assisted in operating shelters, helped with clean-up efforts and provided care for the elderly.

Through the generosity of the American people and their donations, the American Red Cross continues to support recovery efforts through the Japanese Red Cross. These include improving living conditions in evacuation centers and temporary homes by providing appliance packages for families and winterizing structures against the cold. American Red Cross funds are also supporting the Japanese Red Cross in building a temporary hospital and rebuilding a Red Cross nursing school dedicated to training specialists in disaster medical care. Additional American Red Cross support will improve the disaster response capacity of the Japanese Red Cross.

The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist people affected by disasters. If you would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting http://www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box   37243,Washington,DC20013.

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.

Red Cross Honors Volunteers at Annual Celebration of Support

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter celebrates its life-saving mission by recognizing volunteers and donors alike.

November 16, 2011 – Last night, American Red Cross volunteers and community partners were honored with service awards at the annual Celebration of Support. The American Red Cross is driven by volunteers to provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. The Celebration of Support is one way to thank and honor volunteers for their contributions down the street, across the country and around the world.

Bemis Corporation received our Community Partnership Award and special certificate signed by American Red Cross CEO, Gail McGovern, for their support of the American Red Cross' aid to the victims of the Joplin, MO tornado.

Setting the stage for the evening was a first hand account of the killer tornado which hit Joplin, Missouri earlier this year. Although 900 tornadoes touched down in April, this one storm was responsible for hundreds of lost lives – yet the response and on-going recovery is a message of strength. Sharing a Fox Valley perspective was Bill Austen, from the Bemis Company Foundation which has a manufacturing plant in Joplin. While the plant was undamaged, several of their employees escaped the winds with just clothes on their back.  Their story demonstrated the need for local preparedness and the strength and appreciation of trained Red Cross staff and volunteers who rapidly arrived to support emergency needs.

Volunteers make up 97 percent of the workforce for the American Red Cross. Three volunteers, Joyce Keyes and Linda Michels (Fond du Lac) and Gloria Wachholtz (Oshkosh) received 5-year pins while MarJean Buck, Neal Buck (Fond du Lac) and Greg Gibbons (Oshkosh) received 10-years of service pins. 

The following awards were presented at the event:

  • The Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for Community Programs is granted to a volunteer who has proven exceptional performance and enthusiasm toward the community programs at the Red Cross. This year’s recipient was Dixie Laehn, who volunteers each Monday for the Bridges program.

    Congratulations to Dixie Laehn for receiving the 2011 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for her work with our Community Service programs.

  • The Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for Blood Services is presented to the individual who has shown exemplary effort and dedication with regard to volunteering in the blood services program. This year’s recipient was Edna Mae Cragin who has chaired two Montello blood drives per year since 2006 and has helped save up-to 3,615 lives.
  • The Exceptional Volunteer Service for Health & Safety Services is presented to the individaul who has show exemplary efforts and dedication to teaching and promoting our life saving training within the community. This year’s recipient was Bob Mayer, honored for his flexibility and his ‘can-do’ attitude that is so appreciated. 

    Congratulations to Bob Mayer for receiving the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for his work with our Preparedness, Health & Safety Program.

  • The Exceptional Services Award for Services to the Armed Forces is given to the individual who plays an important role in the local to global support of veterans, military members and their families. This year’s recipient was Linda Bishop from Appleton who provides 24/7/365 emergency communication support for service members and their families while in crisis.

Congratulations to Linda Bishop for receiving the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for her work with our Services to the Armed Forces program and for helping with general office support at our Appleton location.

  • The Special Employee Recognition Award was given to Nick Cluppert,who has spearheaded our Services to Armed Forces and disaster preparedness and response programs. He was recognized for his management skills, excelling in disaster training and his disaster deployments around the country.

    Congratulations to Nick Cluppert for receiving the 2011 Special Employee Recognition Award.

  • The Exceptional Services Award for International Services is granted to a volunteer who portrays exceptional effort in promoting Red Cross services worldwide. This year’s recipient was is the Nakashima family, who rose to the occasion to support the people ofJapan after the Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear incident devastated the country many family members call home.
  • The Community Partnership Award is awarded to any company, agency or organization that actively collaborates with the American Red Cross to improve the welfare of the community in which they are part. This year’s recipients were J.J. Keller, Menasha Corporation, Bemis Corporation, Community First Credit Union and State Farm.

    Congratulations to Community First Credit Union for receiving our Community Partnership Award for outstanding support of our special events.Congratulations to State Farm for receiving our Community Partnership Award and many thanks for sponsoring our Celebration of Support event!

  • The Leadership in Giving Award is presented to a person who exemplifies philanthropy throughout his or her life. This year’s recipient was Jim Thomas, (Fond du Lac) who has volunteered with the Red Cross for more than six years, served as Chapter chairman and led a five-year strategic plan.

    Congratulations to James Thomas for receiving the 2011 Volunteer Leadership in Giving Award.

  • Two Exceptional Services Award for Disaster Services were presented to individuals who illustrate extensive personal commitment to helping those in need of emergency assistance. This year’s recipient include Andrew (Andy) Stanislawski, (Waupaca) who has been a dedicated local and national disaster volunteer including multiple deployments this year alone. He also supports the Waupaca office, works at blood drives and is always ready to lend a hand. The second award was presented to Neal and MarJean Buck. They both serve as Fond du Lac area Disaster Action Team captains and their dedication was not deterred when their own home flooded yet they spent five days working full time helping neighbors in need before they tended to their own basement.
    Andy Stanislawski received the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Award for his work with our Disaster Services program. Congratulations!
Congratulations to MarJean and Neal Buck for receiving the 2011 Exceptional Volunteer Service Award for their work with the Disaster Services program.

The Clara Barton Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the Red Cross, is presented to a volunteer whose performance in a number of leadership positions and personal expertise has enabled the Red Cross to contribute valuable services to the community. This year’s recipient was Vicki Jenks, from Wild Rose, WI who has spearheaded local Heroes efforts, rallies community engagement and serves on the Board of Directors.

Congratulations to Vicki Jenks for receiving the highest honor of the evening, the Clara Barton Honor Award. This award is given to an indvidual who mimics the true humanitarian spirit of American Red Cross founder, Clara Barton.

 The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. 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 and Chapter photos are at flickr.com/photos/newredcross.

American Red Cross Deploys Local Volunteer to Joplin, MO

Joyce Petit, pictured here with John Schorse, has volunteered for the Red Cross for 27 years.

Berlin, WI, May 31, 2011 — American Red Cross volunteer Joyce Petit, of Berlin, will be leaving today at 4:00pm for Jopin, MO to help the people impacted by the devastating tornadoes to hit that area just over one week ago.

Joyce is assigned to go out to assist in client casework. As a client casework volunteer she will be working with individuals impacted by the disaster to determine their immediate emergency needs and provide assistances.

“Client Casework is an important activity for Red Cross,” said Nick Cluppert, Emergency Services Manager, EastCentral WI Chapter. “We provide people with assistance and walk them through the steps as they begin their road to recovery. Joyce Petit is a great volunteer and will no doubt bring lots of experience to this activity on her deployment.”

Joyce has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross for 27 years and this is her 12th National Disaster Assignment. She has also assisted for the Terrorist attacks of 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and Wilma and the 2008 Wisconsin Floods.

Joyce works part-time for Classic Cab, LTD in Berlin,WI.

Since the end of March, the Red Cross has launched 35 large disaster responses across 24 states reeling from the devastation left behind after this spring’s flooding and tornadoes. 

The Red Cross is helping people today and will still be providing assistance in the weeks to come.

Since March 31, American Red Cross has:

  • Served more than 2.3 million meals and snacks.
  • Opened more than 240 shelters and provided 22,000 overnight stays
  • Provided more than 53,000 mental health and health consultations
  • Handed out more than 1.2 million relief items like toothbrushes and shampoo, tarps, coolers, rakes and other clean-up supplies.
  • Deployed more than 10,000 trained disaster relief workers from all 50 states

The Red Cross depends on financial donations to help people affected by disasters like these tornadoes and wildfires. You can help by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross,P.O. Box 37243,Washington,DC20013.

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.