Taking Care of Your Emotional Health After a Disaster

In light of the recent tragedy of the Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin we want to make sure that people are taking care of their own emotional needs.  We are on scene with trained mental health assistance and supporting emergency response teams. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the many people impacted by this disater.

Click HERE for tips for taking care of your own emotional health after such tragedy.

Local Cub Scout Troop Donates To Veteran’s Home

Cub Scout Pack 3763 worked with the American Red Cross to donate items for the Veterans Home in King, WI.

Pictured with a small sample of items they collected, from left to right is Jordan Friend, Cub Master, Tammy Biever, Shawn McCrary and Sam McCrary.

This was a special service project done by the Webelos from Rosenow Elementary. Also donating items to their cause were a number of Menards employees and Facebook friends. These items will be greatly appreciated by the veterans.

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.

Additional Pictures of the WI Storms; Red Cross in Action

American Red Cross Disaster Service volunteers Roger Palmer, left, and Mack McElrone inspect storm damage to a home in Kaukauna, WI. on Monday April 11, 2011. A large storm and reported tornado left a path of downed trees and destroyed homes on Sunday night.
The Post-Crescent photo by Wm. Glasheen

Wisconsin’s East Central Chapter Lends Hand to Veterans Assistance Program

Before

After

The Red Cross was founded on principles of supporting the military and their families, including veterans. Whether it be communications or emergency services, the military has found it can count on the Red Cross.There are many times when the Red Cross can say it has assisted the military or service men and women but rarely do we get to see the before and after of the efforts so clearly as we do with this latest effort to help veterans as with these pictures. When we here at the Lakeland Chapter saw what Wisconsin’s East Central Chapter had done for the Veteran’s Assistance Program in King, WI, we had to stop and say nicely done.

The room pictured is at the Veteran’s Assistance Center located at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home in King, WI. Because of the good relationship the Red Cross Waupaca office has with the facility, they were able to brainstorm with the facility’s staff to find a meaningful way to help. They took the dire room you see in the first picture and made it the comfortable, hopeful place you see in the second. It all started with an application for a grant and collaboration with the staff at the facility to see what the needs were.

The Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs in partnership with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs established the Veterans Assistance Program (VAP) in 1994. It helps homeless veterans and those at-risk of becoming homeless receive the job training, education, counseling and rehabilitative services (such as alcohol and drug abuse treatment) they need to obtain steady employment, affordable housing and the skills to sustain a productive lifestyle.

“I was shocked when I went in there the first time,” says Paul Fruit, an Americorps member with the Red Cross . The room and donated furnishings were in a dilapidated state. “And it wasn’t going to change based on the funding they had.”

The average stay for veterans assisted by the program is 2 years so they think of it as their home. “They have given their time of service and they come back to something like that. Its nice to spruce it up a bit,” says Paul.

In October 2009 the local chapter received word from the National Red Cross that they received the grant and then work began.  The pictures say a lot but amazingly don’t tell the full story of transformation. Volunteers removed the old furniture and painted. The room also got new air conditioners and lighting plus a new laptop for the residents to use.  Final touches were made and pictures were hung for the project to be complete in March, 2010.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Veteran’s Affairs website the philosophy of the Veteran’s Assistance program is simple, “vets helping vets; a one-stop shop to access needed services; a structured environment with long days and hard work to rekindle the pride and confidence these men and women once used to defend our nation.”

This room is a more comfortable place to stop after a hard day’s work of rekindling pride and confidence all because of some hardworking people who saw a need and filled it.

Paul says no one who worked on the project saw it as a struggle or chore but as something that should be done. “I don’t think it was going to change and we had the opportunity to change it.”