Northeast WI Year End Wrap

By Guest Blogger Steve Hansen, Regional Chapter Executive  

There isn’t a household in America that hasn’t benefited from the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross. Together, we prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies through a network of dedicated volunteers, community partners, staff and donors alike. We thank you all! 

Did you know our volunteers are called into action nearly every-other day in Northeast WI? Around the clock, our staff and trained volunteers provide the basic need services to help individuals and families weather any storm. Residential fires are the most common (90%) of our responses. Additionally, we experienced several multi-county floods and deployed individuals across the nation through our mutual aid system. Through thick and thin, all disaster assistance is free just when people need a little help the most. This support is made possible through the generosity the American people.

This year, we supported more than 1,630 military families through emergency messages, and pre-deployment briefings. Plus, we expanded our work with Veterans at the Oscar G. Johnson Hospital and Outreach Clinics in Iron Mountain, MI and the King Facility in Waupaca, WI. This includes the distribution of over 5,000 personal greeting cards through our Holiday Mail for Heroes program.   

Our health & safety training spans from youth to senior education. With more than 45,000 trained annually in life-saving skills, we have saved countless lives. A few hours in a classroom or on-line could mean the difference between life and death. We urge you to make a New Years resolution to be Red Cross Ready in the coming months.

Every two seconds someone in the USA needs the gift of life. In Northeast WI, Red Cross volunteers donated over 38,000 units of blood in 2010; selflessly giving so much to someone they may never know. We’re proud to provide nearly half the nation’s blood supply.

The American Red Cross is a dynamic organization that has served the country since 1881. Today, each of our volunteers has their own story and reason for giving back. It’s our honor to call them our partners and brand ambassadors. Together, we roll up our sleeves, open our hearts and jump-in to change lives.

Seasons Greetings!

Steve Hansen

 P.S. A comprehensive Northeast WI Regional Report to the Community is available at www.newredcross.org. It contains additional details, stories, photos and more.

Score a Victory for Patients in Need by Donating Blood

American Red Cross hosts special Badger Fans blood drive on December 27

Counting down the minutes until kick-off on New Year’s Day? Shorten the wait by donating blood at the American Red Cross Badger Fans Blood Drive on December 27.

Badger Fans Blood Drive

Monday, December 27 from noon to 5 p.m.

Buffalo Wild Wings

2101 S. Oneida St., Green Bay

Giving blood only takes about an hour of your time, but can make a game-changing difference for patients in need. All presenting donors will receive a special Red Cross Badger fan t-shirt, while supplies last, and can enjoy free wings provided by Buffalo Wild Wings.

“Inclement weather and seasonal illnesses can make it challenging to maintain a stable blood supply through the winter months,” said Greg Novinska, CEO of the local Red Cross Blood Services Region. “This blood drive is a great way for Madison-area residents to help patients in need while showing their support for the Badger football team.”

All blood types are currently needed, especially type O negative. Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.

As a special thank you, all presenting blood and platelet donors in December will be entered into a daily raffle to win a $100 VISA gift card to help with post-holiday bills! Winners will be contacted after the promotions period ends. The raffle is available to presenting donors and/or residents within the Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region between 12/1/2010 and 12/31/2010 (excluding 12/25/2010).

How to Donate Blood: Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.  Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

About the American Red Cross: Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

 

Firefighters have been busy lately; Winter typically the busiest time of year

Reporter: Beth Jones, WLUK Fox 11 – Click HERE to view video of the story.

GREEN BAY – Thursday morning’s fire in Pulaski, which displaced a family, was one of four other emergencies The American Red Cross responded to within 24 hours.

Since last month, the Lakeland Chapter has responded to 17 incidents, the majority of them fires, assisting 79 people.

But all four Red Cross chapters across the region have been busy.

“When we look at it since Thanksgiving, we’ve responded to some type of disaster every single day,” explained Red Cross Communications Director, Jody Weyers. “So not only are we out there providing support for the families, but we’re also there as a resource to the emergency crews.”

And it’s been tough to keep up.

“It definitely puts a strain on our resources as well as our personnel and volunteers, as well as financially, with having so many incidents back to back,” Weyers said.

Area fire departments, like Green Bay, have been busy too. They’ve responded to 9 residential fires since Thanksgiving.

“What’s unfortunate, that’s about on average for us,” said Lt. Nick Craig.

While the number may seem excessive, Craig says the department usually responds to about 10 fires at least by the first of the year.

December, January, and February are the busiest three months of the year for fire departments across the nation.

In fact, the National Fire Protection Association says one third of all fires and fire deaths occur during those months.

But there are ways to prevent becoming a statistic.

“We’ve seen several wood stove fires, chimney fires in the area and one of the big things we want people to remember is make sure you have them checked out by a certified chimney sweep to make sure they’re in good working condition before the heating season starts,” Craig explained.

One more thing, check your smoke detectors. Craig says over half of all residential fires they respond to, don’t have working smoke detectors.

The Green Bay Fire Department does offer free smoke alarms to residents who need them.

American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Region Responds to Four Incidents in the past 24 hours

Being displaced from ones home due to a fire or other emergency is devastating, but it is especially difficult with it being so close to the holidays. Disasters do not take a break and neither does the Red Cross. Our volunteers have been called out four times in the last 24 hours to provide relief and support to the families affected by a tragedy during this holiday season.  

Our first response in the last 24 hours occurred Wednesday afternoon. We assisted a family, one adult and one teenager, from the Pulaski area who had a house fire. They are staying with family and we provided them with monetary assistance for food, home-made quilts and comfort kits (which include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth, comb, facial tissue, deodorant, razors, shaving cream and lotion)

Around noon yesterday, the East Central Wisconsin Chapter received a call to support 75 emergency workers responding to a large barn fire in Oshkosh that shut down part of Hwy 41 for a period of time. We provided water, coffee and 100 sandwiches to the crews.

Last night around 11:00pm, we received a call of a family with two adults and seven children displaced due to a gas leak in the home. Currently we are assisting the family with hotel stay and comfort kits.

Today at 6:00am two disaster volunteers were called out to respond to a home fire in Pulaski. Based on the clients immediate emergency need we provided the family of two adults and two teenagers with monetary assistance for clothing and groceries. We also provided comfort kits and homemade quilts. The family is staying with relatives.

From November 15-December 23 the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter has responded to 17 incidences helping a total of 79 people with their immediate emergency needs. We have also provided food, water, coffee and snacks to 435 emergency workers at multiply incidences within the community.

Across the Northeast Wisconsin Region since Thanksgiving we have responded to 28 incidences and we helped 102 people with direct service and were available to help thousands mores. Across the region we supported 655 emergency workers with water, coffee, and food at multiple incidences.

“We are continually thankful for our community partners who support local disasters at a moments notice, said Barbara Behling, Red Cross spokesperson. “Unfortunately, we have leaned on them heavily within the past month. It’s this time of year, our resources are stretched thin, the need is unprecedented and gifts of any size will support local families who have been devastated by fires, power outages, gas leaks and more.”

Red Cross disaster assistance is free and is made possible by community donations. You can help individuals of this disaster and others by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross. Cell phone users can text the word GIFT to 90999 from now through December 31 to make a $25 donation to the American Red Cross, visit www.newredcross.org to make an online donation or called 920-231-3590 for more information.

About the Northeast Wisconsin Region:

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 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.

 

Holiday Joy To Veterans & Military Families Delivered

Local American Red Cross volunteers deliver holiday greetings through the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program to area VA Hospitals

Red Cross Volunteers Bev Schuelke, Janet Herter, Cliff Schuelke, and Sandy Hofler showing some of the holiday cards being handed out to the Veterans in King, WI. Photo By: Barbara Behling, American Red Cross

Holiday greetings made for the Holiday Mail for Heroes program were delivered to Veterans at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King, Wisconsin today and at the Oscar G. Johnson facilities, in Iron Mountain, Michigan over the weekend. The King facilities are home to 675 former military service members, and the Veterans Assistance Program also houses 30 men and women.

The Holiday Mail for Heroes program provides Americans with the opportunity to send holiday greetings and a note of thanks to our men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. Each year the Red Cross provides assistance to over two million service members and many of the nation’s 24 million veterans. At the core of the Service to the Armed Forces mission is the commitment to support military families, military and veterans hospitals and provide emergency communications across the globe.

Many community groups and schools throughout the region participated in this year’s program with more than 12,000 cards were created and signed with heart-warming messages. A special thank you is extended to the following groups who participated:

  • Franklin Elementary, Oshkosh
  • Shapiro Elementary, Oshkosh
  • Smith Elementary, Oshkosh
  • Johnston Elementary 3rd grade class, Appleton
  • Lincoln Elementary 3rd grade class, Appleton
  • Janet Berry Elementary 3rd grade class, Appleton
  • Appleton Christian School 1st grade class, Appleton
  • Little Chute Elementary 1st and 4th grade classes
  • Woodland Elementary 3rd Grade class, Kimberly
  • Park Elementary 1st through 4th grade classes, Kaukauna
  • 3rd Grade Religious Education class of Holy Family Parish, Fond du Lac
  • Maplewood Middle School, Menasha
  • Florence High School, Florence, WI
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Gymnastics Team
  • University of Wisconsin Green Bay students
  • UW Green Bay Red Cross Club
  • UW Oshkosh Red Cross Club
  • Valley Visiting Nurse Association, Neenah
  • First Congregational Church, Oshkosh
  • Faith United Methodist Church, Neenah
  • Many Boy and Girl Scout Troops throughout the area

 A special thank you goes to Miles Kimball in Oshkosh for donating 2,500 cards which were signed at local events in area malls, at craft shows and at area businesses.

 In addition, Pitney Bowes in Neenah collected & shipped more than 8,600 cards, which more than doubled their goal of 4,000 cards. The holiday cards will be distributed throughout the nation and to those serving overseas.

 About the Northeast Wisconsin Region: 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 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.

 

Wishing you and your Family a Happy Holiday Season!

Guest Blog Post: Steve Maricque, Executive Director, American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter

The holiday season is fast approaching.  It’s a wonderful time of the year as it provides an opportunity to reflect and be thankful for our blessings –family, friends, good health and good times!  It’s also a season of hope.  Hope that better days are ahead.

We are so thankful for our many volunteers who dedicate themselves towards helping others in need and delivering the mission of the American Red Cross.  We appreciate and are thankful for our donors, who provide the valuable funds needed to deliver our services.  Without our volunteers and donors, we would not exist as an organization.  You make the American Red Cross a truly remarkable organization.  An organization that shows compassion and care for others during difficult times.

This year more than ever, we need your help!  Donations are down this year.  In this season of hope we need your help to have sufficient funds available to save the day for a family in need when their home burns down, when a family needs to contact a soldier around the world with an emergency message or someone is able to save the life of a family member because they are trained in how to use CPR.

We need to be prepared to meet the challenge before us whenever and wherever it is needed.  I ask for your gift to help make that possible and to ensure that your gift will save the day and give hope to someone when it’s needed most.

Thank you so very much for your consideration.  May you and your families have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

Sincerely,

Lakeland Chapter Benefits from Miss Wisconsin & Friends Celebration

Miss Wisconsin, Kim Sawyer, presents a ceremonial check for $13,125 to Door County charities at Saturday night’s Miss Wisconsin and Friends celebration at the Door Community Auditorium. Photo by Zachary Kunstman.

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