Northeast Wisconsin Marks Red Cross Month in March by Recognizing Volunteers

Chapter seeks more volunteers as it launches easy-to-use online Volunteer Connection system

Washington, D.C. – March 13, 2013 – With March designated as Red Cross Month, Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is recognizing and honoring Red Cross supporters and volunteers as the everyday heroes vital to the organization.

The Red Cross also is encouraging people across the area to join the Red Cross by volunteering, making a financial contribution or donating blood.

“Volunteers are essential to the Red Cross and to our ability to be there in times of disaster and help in other ways in our community,” said Jody Weyers, Volunteers Director. “The Red Cross is always seeking volunteers with a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, talents and skills, and our goal is for the Red Cross to be the premier place for volunteers to work.”

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is especially interested in volunteers in the areas of Transportation Drivers in the Green Bay Metro area & Oshkosh, Disaster volunteers in the Waupaca and Tri-County area and Senior Friends in Winnebago County. People interested in volunteering should contact the local Red Cross chapter at 920-227-4287 or visit www.redcross.org/newisconsin

The Red Cross is launching a new online volunteer system across the country that is easy to use and better allows new volunteers to match their skills and interests to needs across the organization.

“Our new Volunteer Connection system will be a great benefit for the Red Cross, a great tool for our volunteers and a great asset to our service in communities,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We believe Volunteer Connection will improve our response to community needs and deliver services of the Red Cross mission by better engaging one of our greatest assets — the talents, time and dedication of our volunteers.”

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Volunteer Connection, which is being used in chapters and other parts of the Red Cross across the United States, was created and deployed thanks to a $3 million grant from W.W. Grainger, Inc.

“Grainger is proud to partner with the American Red Cross in its efforts around Volunteer Connection,” said Jim Ryan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grainger.  “We both are committed to helping communities impacted by disaster, and this innovative new system further enables the Red Cross to deliver on its mission of providing essential humanitarian services to those in need.”

Grainger’s support for the volunteer management system is another example of its deep partnership and commitment to strengthen the Red Cross. In addition to its financial support for disaster relief, Grainger also is the national founding sponsor of the Ready When the Time Comes program, which recruits and trains the employees of local businesses and organizations as disaster responders. The program has trained more than 14,000 volunteers since 2001.

“It’s a natural fit for Grainger to be involved in emergency preparedness and we are dedicated to help build a stronger network of support within the business community,” said Ryan.

American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter Receives Support from The Grainger Foundation for Local Disaster Relief

(l-r) Mauree Childress, Director of Development, Eric Nelsen, Branch Manager, W.W. Grainger and Steve Maricque, Executive Director being presented the check.

The American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter is honored to be presented with a $5,000 donation from The Grainger Foundation, based upon a recommendation from the local W.W. Grainger, Inc. Branch Manager, Eric Nelsen, for local disaster relief.

“We are proud to recommend continued support of the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter,” said Nelsen. “At Grainger we understand the importance of Red Cross and the vital services they provide to our local community.”

“We are very grateful to The Grainger Foundation for their continued generous support that helps provide direct assistance to families impacted by local fires,” said Steve Maricque, Executive Director, American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter. “We have experienced a significant increase in family fires the last couple of months, so the timing of this gift now will help us be prepared to meet the future needs of families in our community.”

Grainger has been a part of the Green Bay business community for more than 40 years as the leading broad line supplier of facilities maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products.

Red Cross and Grainger Announce Expansion of ‘Ready When the Time Comes’ Program

Disaster volunteer training program expands to more than 50 chapters, reaches milestones

Washington, DC – September 23, 2010 – The American Red Cross and W.W. Grainger, Inc. today announced the continued expansion of the Ready When the Time Comes program with an additional 10 chapters set to join the program in 2011. The addition of these chapters will bring the total participating Red Cross chapters to 51 in disaster-prone areas across the country.

This announcement comes during National Preparedness Month, designated each September to encourage Americans to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. 

The Ready When the Time Comes program, a workplace volunteer initiative in which the American Red Cross trains employees of local businesses who can be mobilized as a community-based volunteer force when disasters strike, was developed in 2001 as a partnership between the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and Grainger, the national founding sponsor of the program. Today, more than 11,000 employees representing 450 businesses and organizations in 41 communities across the country have been trained as disaster volunteers through the program. In 2010 alone, ten chapters will have launched the program including Red Cross chapters in Los Angeles and Boston which are holding kickoff events during the next several weeks.

The Northeast Wisconsin Region is proud to have US Bank and Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance as "Ready When the Time Comes" Partners. July 15: Pat Schaeve, employee of US Bank, "Ready When the Time Comes" volunteer doing damage assesment door-to-door in Neenah, WI.

Ready When the Time Comes is a program that turns compassion into action by training employees of businesses nationwide to volunteer when disasters strike close to home,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the Red Cross. “We are gratified that Grainger and many other businesses are supporting the training and that so many of their employees have stepped forward to help provide comfort and care to their neighbors in need.”

“We believe the greatest resource the business community can contribute to disaster relief is its employees. Grainger has partnered with the American Red Cross to encourage other companies across the U.S. to support disaster preparedness through the Ready When the Time Comes program,” said Jim Ryan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Grainger. “Every day volunteers trained through this program are helping their local chapters respond to disasters. They truly exemplify the “People Power” that is at the foundation of any disaster response. Communities are supported by their helping hands in a crisis and the volunteers themselves are strengthened by supporting their communities.”

The new chapters that will join the program in 2011include the Red Cross King and Kitsap Counties, Seattle, WA; Hawaii State Chapter, Honolulu, HI; Puerto Rico Chapter, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Red Cross of Central Oklahoma Chapter, Oklahoma City, OK; Red Cross of Central Florida Chapter, Orlando, FL; Sacramento Sierra Chapter, Sacramento, CA; Connecticut Chapter, Farmington, CT; Southwest PA Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA; and

Red Cross of Greater Arkansas, Little Rock, AR. The tenth Red Cross chapter will be announced in the near future.

 About Grainger
W.W. Grainger, Inc. with 2009 sales of $6.2 billion is North America’s leading broad line supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America.

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.