Heroes, Invest in the Positive, Support Local Programs & Services;Local Disaster Response Budgets Are Exhausted

Editorial note: With the majority of Heroes activities happening in the next several weeks, a number of interviews, photo and/or video opportunities exist. To facilitate media requests please call 920-642-0404 or your local Chapter contact.

Determined individuals and groups of local Heroes are working hard to help the local American Red Cross Chapters by participating in the April – June Heroes for the American Red Cross campaign.  

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 VA hospitals, provide first aid and CPR training, life-saving blood collections and research and disaster preparedness information. All money raised will stay within each Chapter to support your community.

The Red Cross is frequently in the news for their local disaster relief work. As a region, we are responding to local emergencies (mostly residential fires) at a record pace. In fact, in only seven months, the 12-month local budget was exhausted. The Red Cross will continue meeting the basic emergency needs of all disaster victims; the additional costs were not foreseen.

From now to the end of June, we are encouraging everyone to Invest in the Positive and indulge in helping others. “We thrive on gifts of time, money and blood to ensure our mission to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies is met everyday. We can’t touch every household in America without the broad base support,” stated the Regional Chapter Executive, Steve Hansen. He continued, “a national survey indicated that one of the main reasons people say they don’t give (of their time or money) is that they feel they were never asked. The Heroes campaign makes a concentrated effort to touch more people by taking a grassroots approach to highlighting our life-saving mission, the need for volunteers and financial support.”

The regional corporate sponsor for 2011 is Festival Foods. “This is one way Festival Foods associates can help the Red Cross make a difference when disaster affects our community members,’ said Mark Skogen, president of Festival Foods.  

One of the most refreshing elements of the Heroes campaign revolves around creative, home-town and grassroots community efforts, for instance:

  • April 1 – April 31, 2011. Barbers and beauty saloons in the Calumet, Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties are going “Head to Head” to raise awareness, engage in a local competition and raise funds for local programs and services.  

 

  • April 16, 2011. Wautoma’s Got Talent! This second annual event will showcase local talent from 5:00-8:00p.m. at the Wautoma Performing Arts Center. Red Cross volunteer and fire disaster survivor Billi Jo Baneck, leads this community event.

 

  • April 29, 2011. The Fond du Lac Fire Department brat fry will be from 10:00a.m.- 2:00p.m. at the 815 S. Main Street Fire Station with all funds supporting local disaster relief costs. Pre-orders can be made by calling 920-322-3800.

 

  • April 30, 2011.  John & Vicki Jenks from Wild Rose, WI will host their third annual musicale in their home. Last year’s event raised more than $17,000. As Disaster Action Team volunteers, they see first hand the need for Red Cross services. Their goal is to raise $20,000 which will not only support disaster relief but also expand community disaster education and prevention programs in Green Lake, Marquette, Waushara and Waupaca Counties.

 

  • May 16, 2011. Join the 23rd Annual Heroes Golf Classic. The Brown County Golf Course will host the days events to benefit programs and services in the Lakeland Chapter.

 

  • May 19, 2011. Dine for Disaster will be hosted by restaurants in the Fond du Lac and Winnebago counties. By simply eating out at participating restaurants, you will be making a gift! Society Insurance is the corporate sponsor for this one-day event. Nathan and Marcia Haupt of Schreiner’s Restaurant in Fond du Lac and Steve Davis of Ardy and Ed’s Drive-in in Oshkosh are spearheading the Dine for Disaster with their fellow restaurateurs. A complete listing of participating restaurants will be available at www.newredcross.org.

 

  • May 26, 2011. Nearly 30 Fire Departments are challenging each other in a Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade from 4:00 to 7:00p.m. Local fire departments will have displays at local retailers and also collect funds to support local disaster prevention and relief efforts.

 

  • June 24, 2011 . The Heroes campaign will wrap-up at the Heroes Recognition Event where all Heroes will be presented with an iconic “piggy bank” as our way of saying thank you. Details will be forthcoming.  

There are a variety of other ways for organizations, businesses and individuals to become Heroes for the Red Cross. Some examples that have been successful are:

  • Little Heroes in schools host “penny drives.” The goal is $500 and the kids experience the thrill of helping people right in their own backyard. Groups have already reached this goal for Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief.  We hope local support will be garnered as well.

 

  • Employers can host “Casual or Jeans Day” with a donation offered in exchange for the special dress code.  

 

  • A fundraiser banner, percentage of sales, round-ups and donation canisters are available at many businesses. Payroll and bill stuffers can promote employee giving. Several companies offer matching gifts; therefore, it’s suggested that donors inquire about their employers’ policies.

 

  • A web-based email system called TeamRaiser is also available in which you can solicit support and watch results grow on-line. Visit http://american .redcross.org/heroes to register.

To support the Heroes campaign, posters, donation canisters, fundraising banners, marquee signage examples and using social media sites can increase awareness of the Red Cross and will all support the Heroes effort. Please contact your local Red Cross office for more information.

The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of four chapters serving 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Lakeland, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit us at the website, blog, facebook or twitter by using NEWRedCross. 

Safety for the Holidays

With all the holiday errands and festivities, don’t forget to bring home safety for the holidays. Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage. Review these tips so you don’t forget to make safety a priority for enjoying the holiday season.

Preparedness Tips

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.
  • Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over.  Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.
  • Smoke alarms save lives.  Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed.  Use the test button to check it each month.  Replace all batteries at least once a year.
  • Visit http://www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to keep your home fire safe during the holidays.

WLUK Fox 11 – Live Shots: Water still high in Oshkosh

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO OF STORY!

OSHKOSH – The storms that rolled through yesterday and overnight in Northeast Wisconsin dropped about 4″ of rain in Oshkosh.

FOX 11’s Angela Kelly spent Thursday morning in Oshkosh where many areas are still flooded.

Sawyer Creek in Oshkosh is swollen this morning, due to the heavy rain.

The creek has now overflowed into parts of the Westhaven neighborhood, including a large area behind Mercy Medical Center.

Gary Troxell, an employee at Mercy Medical Center walks to work everyday, and was surprised by what he saw Thursday morning.

“I was expecting the creek to be swollen, but not this bad,” said Troxell.

Parts of Westhaven Golf Course are also under water due to the swollen creek.

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The American Red Cross plans to send teams out this morning to do damage assessments across Winnebago County.

Crews will also be delivering clean-up kits to residents throughout the county who need them.

Nick Cluppert, Emergency Services Manager for the Red Cross in Oshkosh, says most affected residents have flooding and or water damage in their basements, but there are some reports of trees that have fallen on homes.

There are several streets under water in Oshkosh as well, many of which experienced flooding in 2008.

Cluppert says those streets include 9th, 20th, Ohio, Clay and Jackson.

Damage appears to be mostly basement flooding.

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Steve Hansen, the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Chapter Executive for the American Red Cross was in Oshkosh Thursday morning as well.

“I don’t think there is any area of Northeast Wisconsin that wasn’t affected by this storm,” said Hansen.

Hansen says they could hand out 300-500 clean-up kits to residents throughout the region. The kits include brooms, a squeegee, bleach, bags and other supplies.

Call your local Red Cross chapter if you are in need of one.

Red Cross Teams on Stand-by Ready for Fires, Floods and Winds

Oshkosh, WI…(July 14, 2010) Across the 22-county Northeast Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross, disaster action teams have been activated and several more are on stand-by. Evening storms have created a series of actions from responding to a local fire, placing a shelter on stand-by and teams are being readied for action once the storms pass.

Earlier this evening, more than 70 fire-fighters, and first responders, were given hydration and nutrition at a Fish Creek home which was engulfed in flames after being struck by lightning. Keeping the first responders bodies cool, under such immense heat was the goal as they fought the blaze. The family was also assisted with emergency basic needs.

With the heavy rains, trained disaster action team members were in a ready position to support local flood relief efforts. This included having the Oshkosh Convention Center on stand-by as an emergency overnight shelter. Emergency Response Vehicles and trained volunteers were also ready to respond. Nick Cluppert, with the East Central WI Chapter, was also in the Winnebago County Emergency Operations Center.

Early tomorrow morning, Disaster Assessment Teams will gather before heading into damaged areas. This is the first step for client assistance. Clean-up kits with basic cleaning supplies will also be available at Red Cross offices and via mobile units. If people are in need of assistance, they are encouraged to call their local Red Cross.

All disaster assistance is free as a gift to the American people, from the American people. To financially support local disaster relief efforts, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or by visiting www.redcross.org.

About: The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of six chapters serving 22 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Fond du Lac County, Lakeland, Outagamie and Scenic Shores Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NewRedCross.org

 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.

One Red Cross Changes Continue; Neenah-Menasha & East Central WI Chapters Consolidation Announced

The American Red Cross serves communities down the street, across the country and around the globe everyday. Recently, the Board of Directors of the East Central Wisconsin and Neenah-
Menasha Chapters approved the consolidation of the two Chapters. The official change, and new East Central Wisconsin Chapter will be effective July 1, 2010. This is the second Chapter consolidation for the Northeast Wisconsin Region this year. In March, the Manitowoc-Calumet & the Sheboygan County Chapters announced their consolidation.
“The primary purpose of consolidation is to strengthen our core-mission programs and services and reduce operating costs,” stated Kevin Greek, the Neenah-Menasha Chapter Board Chair. He continued, “By having all of Winnebago County under the helm of one Chapter, we will maximize our relationship with community partners enhancing our ability to prepare, prevent and respond to emergencies around the clock. We anticipate a cost savings of approximately $100,000 in year one with additional savings to be realized in future years.”   
The two volunteer boards embarked on consolidation discussions and approved their Chapters strategic direction in November 2009. It was determined that consolidation was the best course of action to remain strong, vibrant and growing. Both boards will be combined to form one single new Board of Directors. Their primary role is to ensure the fulfillment of the Red Cross mission, governance, financial oversight, and fundraising. The new board will also partner with the Regional Chapter Executive, Steve Hansen, to develop and monitor strategies to deliver mission related services, philanthropy and community outreach.John Schorse, the East Central Wisconsin Chapter Board Chair added, “This consolidation features two
strong Chapters. While both are well-run and well-supported by separate United Ways, foundations, businesses and individual volunteers and donors alike, we have taken the approach to build upon our successes and strengths even during challenging economic times that could threaten the viability of one or more of the Chapters in the future.” Schorse added, “while much progress has been made by the Northeast Wisconsin Region in increasing our capacity to respond to emergencies and disasters, more work needs to be done.” Going forward, we will continue to focus our activities in the following areas;  

• Organizational Readiness – Volunteer recruitment, training, support and retention; material resource acquisition, placement and maintenance; identification and creation of community partnerships and the development of systems and plans for preparing for, and responding to, catastrophic events. • Individual Preparedness – Public awareness campaigns to increase understanding of the need to be prepared; community education and training to increase knowledge of life-saving skills and survival tactics.  

• Community Partner Collaboration – Recognizing that no one agency can do this all alone, the Red Cross must seek the help and support of government agencies, other humanitarian and non-profit partners, and corporations in order to succeed in building the overall capacity that is needed.

• Sustainability – Ensure that programs and strategies that enhance individual citizen preparedness and community readiness can be supported long-term through increased chapter capacity.  This is an essential focus moving forward so that gains made through programs implemented today do not become the victim of languishing resources in the future. The 515 S. Washburn Street, Oshkosh location will be the Chapter headquarters and training facility, while the 181 E. North Water Street, Neenah office will serve as a service delivery and training location as well.

The Northeast Wisconsin Region is a grouping of five chapters serving 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit www.NewRedCross.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.