Packer 5k- an Interns point of view

by: Cassie DeClerc

Where do I even start when it comes to the Packer 5k?! This was my first experience organizing a large group of volunteers and I learned a lot from it!

Packer 5k When we first posted on here, Facebook, twitter and sent emails out notifying our great volunteers that the American Red Cross would once again be a charity partner with the Packer 5k and that we were looking for volunteers I was a bit overwhelmed. Our amazing community quickly pulled together and sent emails in quicker than I could read them. While it was wonderful to see people volunteer to donate their time, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to organize and contact every single person! Along with the simple challenge of replying to everyone, came the challenge of getting all of the correct information. Some emails came in without shirt sizes, or what area they wanted to work, or even missing the names of individuals which required an extra step of communication which proved to be more fun that I anticipated.

But, through the emails I feel that I got the amazing opportunity to connect with the volunteers. Email made is seem like I was pen pals with 150+ people with some of the biggest hearts I have ever met. With the help of a computer screen and keyboard I was introduced to groups of work friends, people that were long time friends, first time volunteers and volunteers with years of experience, couples, singles, and even families that came together to make a difference and put their community first. Who would ever guess that 150+ strangers could feel like family so quickly!?

As race day neared, I remember being a bit stressed about finding volunteers to fill our open spots on course corners and at the water station. We sent out a social media reminder that we were still looking for volunteers and got 1 response. ONE RESPONSE! I think I had a bit of a panic attack thinking there was no way I would ever fill the positions and because of that it would all be a failure.  (I even had a dream one night of an empty water station with angry thirsty runners!) Jody then reminded me that we had time and we usually end up with just the right number! Our volunteers are certainly awesome like that and come race day we had all spots covered!

packet stuffNow on to the truly fun and interesting stuff! Goodie bag stuffing was a blast! I loved getting to see the faces behind all of the emails I sent and getting to know some of the volunteers better. We had 2 amazing teams that worked so well we were done early! I cannot say enough about the volunteers at Goodie Bag stuffing. They stuffed bags and folded over 8,000 tshirts! My absolute favorite part of Goodie Bag stuffing was the DePere Baseball team that brought their A game and  helped us all remember what it’s like to be a kid at Lambeau Field!

water stationAfter a day of rest and recovery we were ready for race day! We started our day at 2pm with packet pick up! We got an awesome picture together (no selfie here, just a normal picture! =]) and then got to send them on their way! We then had a little break before we had to get our course corners and water station ready to go! So Jody and I did what every good runner would do and got prepared for the race! And by that, I mean we got Cold Stone! We had to make sure our sugar was up so we could last through the race!

Our Pre-Race Warm up (or cool down I guess!)

Our Pre-Race Warm up (or cool down I guess!)

We finally met up with our water station, course corner and medal hand out volunteers! All such wonderful people! In a few short hours these amazing people managed to hand out water, medals and cheer on over 7,000 runners!

This was such an amazing experience in my book. I cannot wait to work with awesome volunteers on events like this in the future!

 

American Red Cross Honors Volunteers and Supporters at Celebration of Support Event

The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin Chapter celebrated its partners at the annual Celebration of Support Event on Tuesday, June 24 at the Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay. Two hundred and sixty attended the event, comprised of Red Cross volunteers, community partners and The Grainger Foundation representatives; the event sponsor. The crowd was brought to their feet upon hearing the amazing acts of volunteerism and collaboration. WBAY-TV anchor, Kathryn Bracho served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.

The program kicked-off with incoming Board Vice-chair, Chris Vanderheyden of Double Digit Sales Growth, welcoming words and appreciation for all who give of their time, talent and treasure to help the Red Cross fulfill its mission. Following Vanderheyden was Greg Novinska, CEO, Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region with an update on our collection, testing and distribution of life-saving blood products.  The first awards were presented to One-a-Week Club businesses and clubs who committed to at least 52 donations of blood per year, or one per week during the previous year.

After dinner, the Volunteer Recognition Awards were presented to individuals and groups for their exceptional volunteer work.

Jean Frisch, of Wisconsin Public Service, Ed McHugh Worker of the Year award for front-line volunteers with exceptional reliability to the blood program.

(l-r)  Greg Novinska, CEO, Badger-Hawkeye Blood Service Regioin, Robert Hollenbeck, Hilary Lesperance Award Winner, and his daughter, Lori Hollenbeck

(l-r) Greg Novinska, CEO, Badger-Hawkeye Blood Service Region, Robert Hollenbeck, Hilary Lesperance Award Winner, and his daughter, Lori Hollenbeck

Associated Bank, Business, Group or Organization of the Year, given to a business or group of volunteers for years of commitment to the American Red Cross Blood Services program.

Robert Hollenback, of Sheboygan Falls, Hilary Lesperance Award for outstanding support in the Blood Services Program.

Territory Three Disaster Action Team,  Kerrie Forester Emergency Services Award for commitment and dedication to Disaster Services.

John Mueller, of DePere, Andrew Janssen Transportation Award, for outstanding work in transportation services for the American Red Cross and providing transportation for the elderly population and those with disabilities to help them sustain an independent lifestyle.

Rick Jerry, of Green Bay, Outreach Award, for outstanding service in Preparedness, Health and Safety, education and outreach.

Sharon Davister, of Green Bay& Bonnie Rozmarynowski, of Denmark, Behind-the-Scenes Award presented to a volunteer who assists with essential office work at one of our office locations in development, facilities, reception and other behind-the-scenes jobs.

Pakou Lee, of Green Bay, Rookie of the Year, presented to a volunteer for exceptional level of service and has started within the past year.

The Konop Company, of Green Bay, Community Partnership Award, awarded to a group, individual, or business for demonstrating extraordinary support, collaboration and fulfillment of the American Red Cross mission within its core lines of service

Schneider, Corporate Benefactor Award, for a business with outstanding commitment and dedication to the American Red Cross.

Aymee Balison, of De Pere, Mrs. Crane (Mary) Murphy Award, presented to a member of the Board of Directors for exceptional contribution and advancement of the American Red Cross.

John and Lynne Wilson, of Iron Mountain, MI, Volunteer of the Year Award, presented to the individual who has demonstrated long-term commitment to multiple programs of the American Red Cross.

(l-r) Shawn Kiser, Major Gifts Officer, Jody Weyers, Director of Volunteers, Jim Rivett, Clara Barton Award Winner, and Mary Gronnert, Foundation Manager, Schneider, Corporate Benefactor Award.

(l-r) Shawn Kiser, Major Gifts Officer, Jody Weyers, Director of Volunteers, Jim Rivett, Clara Barton Award Winner, and Mary Gronnert, Foundation Manager, Schneider, Corporate Benefactor Award.

James Rivett, of Green Bay, President of Arketype, Clara Barton Award, the highest award of the night, presented to an individual who exemplifies the qualities of American Red Cross pioneer Clara Barton.

Congratulations to all the award recipients and thank you to everyone for your time, blood and support of the American Red Cross.

Click HERE to see pictures of all the award recipients.

Get to know: Jenny Berry, Summer Intern

 

By Jenny Berry, American Red Cross Intern 

photo1 (1)My name is Jenny Berry. I am currently a well-rounded student at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. I am pursuing a degree in Human Services Leadership with a Sustainability Management minor. I just finished my junior year and was rewarded my sixth semester Dean’s list. I am currently an active member of Alpha Xi Delta National Sorority, Human Services Leadership Student Organization, Golden Key National Honor Society, and lastly and most recently I have become a member of the UWO American Red Cross Club. Since I did not join until spring of 2014, I was not as involved as I would have liked to have been. Fortunately, I have recently achieved a position on the executive board as Public Relations Chair. I am truly honored to be a part of such an inspiring and helpful organization that went above and beyond this year and won the New Emerging Organization of the year on campus! My future goals are to continue my education in graduate school as well as use my past education, skills and experiences to advocate, empower, volunteer, and help others in need whether that be through disaster services, environmental services, or advising/counseling.

A little bit about me besides campus life: I was born in Bloomington, Illinois and raised in Deforest, Wisconsin. I was on the Varsity softball team from my freshman to senior year of high school. I also played varsity volleyball as well. Playing sports since a little girl has given me more attributes than I could have ever dreamed of. I love being outdoors which is why I am also interning through the University Clean Bloats Clean Waters program to educate and spread awareness of Aquatic Invasive Species.  Whenever possible my ultimate passions are to spend time with my family and my friends and to lend a hand to those in need.

It was not until recently, that through the media and volunteerism, I saw how impactful and supportive the American Red Cross was to all of the members of its communities that I truly wanted to “get my feet wet” and assist in preventing and easing the pain of others.  I am very excited to be have been blessed with the opportunity to intern with the Northeastern Wisconsin American Red Cross team this summer and work along with some truly amazing individuals to support and give compassion to those we are suffering.  I look forward to all that I will gain through this experience in and out of the office.

Volunteers Needed – Packers 5K!

5KLogo_bellin 4c NEW FINAL WITH STRIPE OLWe are excited to once again be a charity partner for the Green Bay Packers 5K event!

Last year we had 130 volunteers support this great community event on behalf of the American Red Cross and we received over $3,000 in proceeds from the Green Bay Packers for programs and services.

We are looking for volunteers to help fill the following volunteer opportunities.

Tuesday, July 22 — Goody Bag Stuffing

Saturday, July 26  —   Water Station – Mile 1 / Packet Hand Out/ Course intersections.

Below is a  flyer with all the times and additional information for these jobs. 

If you are interested in volunteering please e-mail or call Jody Weyers, Volunteer Director at 920-227-4287 or jody.weyers@redcross.org  with the following information:

·        Name

·        Address

·        phone and e-mail 

·        T-shirt Size

·        Area you want to work

Thank you for your support and we look forward to another GREAT event to benefit the American Red Cross.

5K Flyer 2014_5K Flyer 2014

Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Week – April 21-25

It’s not a nursery rhyme, Mother Nature can huff and puff to blow your house down. In fact, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually!  Last year, 16 tornadoes were reported, in Wisconsin, by the National Weather Service, including six during the night of August 6, 2013. The strongest tornado, rated an EF2, hit near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie Counties and required a significant response for our Disaster Action Teams.

To help everyone refresh their tornado awareness, the National Weather Service will test our knowledge on Thursday, April 24th.

  • At 1:00p.m. they will issue a mock tornado watch for the entire state. A ‘tornado watch’ means tornadoes are possible. Residents in the watch area should remain alert for approaching storms.
  • At 1:45p.m., they will issue a mock tornado warning. A ‘tornado warning’ means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar. Residents should move to a safe place immediately.
  • The tornado drill will end at 2:00p.m.

The National Weather Service will conduct the drill even if the sky is cloudy, dark or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected, anywhere, in the state, the tornado drill will be postponed until Friday, April 25 at the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled. To help refresh your memory of safest places to be, what watch & warnings mean, emergency kit items to have and even audible alerts for where you live, please download the FREE Tornado APP.

Let us know how you have prepared during the week and we will let you know the results of the tornado drills, at our offices, too!

My Challenge Coin Giveaway

By Patty Flowers, CEO, Eastern Wisconsin Region

(l-r) Patty Flowers with Adrianne Benson holding the coin.

(l-r) Patty Flowers with Adrianne Benson holding the coin.

For nearly a century, military personnel have created personalized challenge coins to honor exceptional individuals.

History says that a World War I flying ace had medallions printed for his unit to recognize their loyalty.  One of these men was shot down in Europe and captured by the Germans.  He actually was able to escape only to be captured by the French who thought he was German.  By producing his coin, he proved what unit he was from and apparently saved his life because the French were going to execute him.  What a story!  Challenge coins have lived on throughout the years and are still used to this day to honor individuals.  Military personnel collect these coins as though they are badges of honor.

So how did I, a non-military person, have the privilege of giving away a challenge coin?  The Tiffany Circle is a society of women philanthropists who support the American Red Cross with a generous annual gift in support of many programs and services.  I am a member of Tiffany circle and each year in May there is a summit of women from across the country who gather in Washington DC to learn more about the Red Cross and network to further their Circles back home.  For the last two years at the summit meeting, all attendees received a coin with specific instructions challenging us to uphold this honored tradition by giving away the coin to an individual that is very deserving.  Since last May, I’ve carried my coin in my work bag always looking for just the right occasion to depart with it, until recently.

Please allow me to introduce Adrianne Benson who is in the photograph with me.  Adrianne is a Non-Commissioned Officer in Civil Affairs with the U.S. Army Reserve based in Green Bay.  In her 14 years with the Army she has worked with diverse populations, led humanitarian projects, and served as liaison for several government bodies.  She also served in Afghanistan.  In addition to serving in the military, she is raising a family, is an active volunteer in the community, and she is also attending University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh full-time to earn a Bachelor of Arts International Studies degree.  Through the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, Adrianne is part of the AmeriCorps Vet Corps program and has accepted an internship with us through March of 2014.  We are delighted to have her helping with our Service to Armed Forces programs and know she will bring a new perspective that none of us can bring to the table.  Adrianne recently told the story of receiving holiday cards from the Red Cross while she was in Afghanistan.  She said she posted the cards on the wall above her bed and they made her smile because she knew someone in the U.S. was thinking of her.  The Holiday Mail For Heroes program is one that Adrianne will be working on while interning with us and she is proof that these cards make a difference!

I am very proud to give my coin to Adrianne and know that she will always cherish it in the spirit it was given.  Thank you for your service, Adrianne.  We all appreciate you.

Winter Storm Preparedness

Winter-storm-2Winter storms can range from moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind-driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

Regardless of the severity of a winter storm, you should be prepared in order to remain safe during these events. Check out our Winter Storm Safety List and see how prepared you are!

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