1st National Bank-Waupaca: American Red Cross HERO

By Vicki Jenks, Board Member Northeast Wisconsin Chapter and Disaster Team Member: 

Pictured:  Vicki P. Jenks, American Red Cross  Northeast Wisconsin Board Member and Nicholas E. Burington, 1st National Bank Executive Assistant.

Pictured: Vicki P. Jenks, American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Board Member and Nicholas E. Burington, 1st National Bank Executive Assistant.

For four consecutive years, 1st National Bank in Waupaca, has generously supported HEROES, a community collaboration benefitting the local AMERICAN RED CROSS efforts in Waupaca, Waushara, Green Lake and Marquette.  1st National Bank’s gift will be utilized for both Local Disaster Relief and Service to the Armed Forces in Waupaca County.

The most prevalent local disasters are RESIDENTIAL FIRES-winter being the busiest, worst time of the year.  When the Red Cross is called in for support, trained volunteers may provide immediate needs ranging from personal hygiene kits, a place to stay, financial assistance, replacement of prescription medications, quilts, stuffed toys and a shoulder to lean on.  The American Red Cross—91% volunteers—arrives with hearts filled with compassion and a plan to support families during a most difficult time in their life.

As mentioned, 1st National Bank’s gift will also assist the Service to the Armed Forces work in Waupaca County.  As the only entity in the world authorized to validate and relay emergency messages to military service personnel in the world, your local Red Cross handles approximately 20 SAF cases annually in Waupaca County.

The 8th annual HEROES Musicales will occur on ARMED FORCES DAY, Saturday, May 16th, in the Wild Rose home of Red Cross volunteers, John and Vicki Jenks.  For tickets and silent auction donor information, please call (920) 622-3152 or Email vickipjenks@gmail.com.

Heroes 2015RedCrossPoster

 

Aaron Rodgers wins QB/RB of the week! FedEx donates to Red Cross

aaron bearsWe’re happy to announce that The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin today received $2,000 from FedEx through its Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week Program. FedEx’s donation will support disaster relief and a variety of urgent humanitarian needs of the Red Cross.

Each week, the NFL nominates three quarterbacks and three running backs who had the best performance the previous weekend. Fans then vote at NFL.com/FedEx for the quarterback and running back who they think performed the best. This past week, our local AARON RODGERS was nominated and won, triggering the generous donation from FedEx.

For more than 15 years, FedEx has worked closely with the Red Cross to ship critical relief supplies across America. FedEx also partnered with the Red Cross to develop a variety of small business preparedness tools. As a $1 million member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program, FedEx ensures the Red Cross is ready to respond immediately after a disaster strikes.

Red Cross helping with emergency housing, food and clothing needs

Fire from 15th Avenue in Green Bay. (photo from http://fox11online.com)

Fire from 15th Avenue in Green Bay. (photo from http://fox11online.com)

The American Red Cross is helping a dozen people – nine adults and three children from four families – after  fires yesterday in (W. Winnebago) Appleton, (Happy Valley Drive) Menasha, (5th Avenue) Green Bay and (N. Ostranda Lane) Crivitz. The Red Cross is meeting with and providing appropriate help for emergency housing, food and clothing needs.

The Red Cross has also provided families with emergency lodging, sweatsuits and personal hygiene kits along with professional resources during this difficult situation. Financial assistance for clothing, food, winter garments and shoes was also provided. Red Cross team members will be available to help the families moving forward from the initial disaster response through recovery.

American Red Cross disaster assistance is free of charge, a gift made possible by generous donations and the work of trained volunteers.

To learn more about the American Red Cross or to make a financial gift please call, text or click. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS, text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation or click on www.redcross.org

Dying Mother Saves Son from Death

Written by Barbara Behling, Communications Director

In honor of the many men and women who have served our country and continue to serve, we thank you today and everyday for your service. 

VeteransDay

Even from a deathbed, a mother can save a child. This was the case for Neil Starke, serving in the US Coast Guard during WWII. Thanks to the American Red Cross Services to Armed Forces program he was able to share her last breaths, a visit which also saved his own life.

In the heart of WWII, the USS El Paso was situated at 114° North & 120° East. From these decks, air & sea rescues off the Philippines coasts were conducted. It was in the heart of the fighting, he received a cablegram from the Red Cross which explained his father had fallen while riding a bus, with trauma to his head, he was sent to a mental institution. Meanwhile, in another hospital, his dying mother yearned to see her son one last time. His superior officers granted permission for a 38-day leave of absence. It was this stroke of timing that saved his life.

SONY DSCNeil was taken off one ship, sailed to land on another and then boarded a military plane to fly back to the states. Altogether, the journey took two weeks. While at his mother’s bedside, he shared stories, a smile and the unmistakable touch of a mother’s hand until her passing.  Even today, when sharing his story, he remains visibly shaken.

Now with tears in his eyes, it was time to return to duty. “It was the first time I heard my father’s voice falter when saying good-bye.” Neil explains. By military plane, he flew back to the base and was ready to rejoin his ship. He waited a week. Then two, he was eager to join his team. “It was ironic and a blessing, I was pulled off that ship as it was declared lost in the Yellow Sea typhoon.  While I never saw any man I served with again; the vessel was found two-weeks later. The boilers had been destroyed so it must have been tossing around like a toy in a washing machine,” Neil concluded.

A short-time thereafter, an international peace agreement was signed. The war was over. “Until that cable gram, I had been mad at the Red Cross about $.15 lemonade that tasted awful.  Then I learned the greater meaning of their work. It allowed me to be with my mother in those final days and it also saved my life.”

The Service to the Armed Forces division of the American Red Cross helps our military members and their families across the world with one primary function being Emergency Communications. If family needs to get in touch with a service member while they are on active duty, they can call the Red Cross Emergency Communication line for the military at 1-877-272-7337. The Red Cross will get family in touch, and provide vital verification services so that commanding officers can make informed decisions about emergency leave. The Red Cross is the only organization entrusted with this responsibility because of our longstanding history with the military, as well as our Fundamental Principles of Neutrality and Impartiality.

American Red Cross Celebration of Support Honors Announced

The local American Red Cross honored volunteers and community partners at the Celebration of Support event Thursday, November 6, 2014. Around 100 Red Cross volunteers and community supporters attended the event hosted by The Waters and sponsored by Festival Foods.

Joining Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive was community members from several cities. The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter covers 20 counties and the diversity of skills; experience and proximity are recognized in the awards below.

(l-r) NIck Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager, Tom Powell, Mental Health Disaster Volunteer, Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive.

(l-r) Nick Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager, Tom Powell, Mental Health Disaster Volunteer, Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive.

Thomas Powell, of Ripon, Victor Fousek Emergency Services Award for outstanding commitment assisting local and national communities impacted by disasters.

Norman “Gene” Wallis, of Appleton, Outreach Award presented to a volunteer for exceptional support in Health and Safety, Services to Armed Forces, or other areas that involve education and outreach promoting Red Cross services.

Nancy Hammock, of Fond du Lac, Blood Services Volunteer Award for exceptional reliability and dedication to the blood services program.

Janet Meyer, of Hortonville, Behind-the-Scenes Award presented to a volunteer who assists with essential office work at our (Appleton) office locations in development, facilities, reception and other behind-the-scenes jobs.

Angie Dusenberry, of Oshkosh, Rookie of the Year, presented to a volunteer for exceptional level of service who has started within the past year.

Traded Treasures, in Ripon, and ADOVCAP, in Oshkosh, Corporate Benefactor Award, for a business with outstanding commitment to their communities and collaboration with the American Red Cross.

(L-R) Pat Exarhos, Board Member and Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive.

(L-R) Pat Exarhos, Board Member and Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive.

Pat Exarhos, of Appleton, Leadership Award, presented to a member of the volunteer board of directors, committee or program for exceptional leadership, contribution and support for the advancement of the American Red Cross.

Charles Patzer, of Wild Rose, Volunteer of the Year Award, presented to the individual who has demonstrated excellence and long-term commitment to the American Red Cross. This individual gives time, talent and knowledge in ways that improve the quality of the programs and services of the organization.

Howard Porter, of Appleton, Clara Barton Award, presented to an individual who exemplifies the qualities of American Red Cross pioneer Clara Barton.

(l-r) NIck Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager, Charles Patzer, Disaster & Services to Armed Forces Volunteer, Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive.

(l-r) NIck Cluppert, Disaster Program Manager, Charles Patzer, Disaster & Services to Armed Forces Volunteer, Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive.

All award recipient photos are posted on our local Facebook page and Flickr site.

Have Fun, Be Safe on Halloween

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Halloween is popular with everyone – kids to adults – and the American Red Cross has some safety tips people can follow to stay safe this Halloween while enjoying the festivities.

1. Use only flame-resistant costumes.

2. Plan the Trick-or-Treat route – make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.

3. Make sure the Trick-or-Treaters have a flashlight. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing to be seen.

4. Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.

5. Instead of masks which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, use face paint instead.

6. Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.

7. Be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.

8. If you are welcoming Trick-or-Treaters, sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps.

9. Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.

10. Restrain your pets.

LEARN WHAT TO DO Download the free Red Cross First Aid App. Users receive instant access to expert advice for everyday emergencies whenever and wherever they need it. Find this and all of the Red Cross apps by searching for American Red Cross in the app store for your mobile device or by going toredcross.org/apps.

Special Thanks to Our Volunteers, Employees and Donors During Sandy

By: Trevor Riggen, Vice President of Disaster Services Operations and Logistics, American Red Cross

hurricane-sandy09Today marks the two-year anniversary of one of the largest responses in the long and proud history of this organization. It was a storm and challenge so unique that they had to come up with a new name just to describe it – Superstorm Sandy.  It was a massive, powerful storm that hit the most densely populated area of the country at the tail end of hurricane season followed by falling temperatures, snow, and enormous need throughout the region.

I want to begin by saying thank you to each and every one of you who donated money or raised your hand to join in serving those in need during the long weeks that followed landfall and to the thousands more who have served in our ongoing recovery efforts. So much great work was done by so many – the numbers are truly staggering.

  • More than 17 million meals and snacks were served
  • More than 7 million relief items were distributed
  • 74,000 over-night shelter stays were accommodated
  • More than 5,100 households have been provided over $32 million of move-in assistance
  • More than $91 million has been provided to dozens of nonprofits with specialized expertise and strong local ties

During the peak of the response and for weeks after Sandy’s landfall, we were providing 130,000 to 150,000 meals and snacks a day. Imagine handing a meal or snack to every person at a sold-out New York Giants or Jets game AND a sold-out Yankees game, every day, from Halloween until after Christmas. None of this would have been possible without the hearts of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors.

sandy-pie-chartMore than 17,000 of you put on a vest and put your lives on hold to serve others. Many of you stayed to serve past your 3 week commitment or returned to serve during the holidays. Your work has greatly benefited those affected by Sandy, not just in the initial response, but also through our recovery efforts, which continue to this day. Across New Jersey, New York and Connecticut the work goes on.  With our partners and the local regions we continue to serve those affected, through grant-funded home rebuilds, volunteer trainings and convening long-term recovery groups.  And our surveys show an overwhelming majority of those we served reported a positive experience with the Red Cross.

While we are proud of our response, we also know that we can always do better. “Good enough” is not the standard we seek to reach. We’re always striving to improve because we know the American public and the people we serve expect nothing less.

Throughout its 133-year history, the American Red Cross has continued to make changes and find new and more efficient ways to do things. In fact, this drive to learn and do better started with Clara Baron, the founder of the American Red Cross, who said, “I go for anything new that might improve the past.”

In that spirit, I want to close by sharing some of the improvements we’ve made based on what we learned from our work before, during and after Sandy.

Months before Sandy struck in October 2012, we began a process known as re-engineering. It began with a comprehensive and detailed examination of the way we approach disasters.

One of the main outcomes of that effort was a commitment to empower local Red Cross leaders on the ground, who know their communities best, to make more decisions locally. As a result of that commitment, we have moved nearly one-third of our disaster positions out of national headquarters and into the field, closer to the people we serve.

We are already seeing this new structure work. I’ve heard personally from those of you who served in Moore, Oklahoma after the tornadoes, Colorado after the floods, and Oso, Washington after the landslide.

If you look around at the major projects and work from the past year, you can see lessons from Sandy in many other places.

Preparedness: We saw during Sandy how critical preparedness is to response. Raising awareness of risks and preparedness actions at the community level can save lives in the first 48 to 72 hours after a storm.  Now we integrate preparedness into everything we do.

Response: The impact from Sandy was felt from Ohio and West Virginia to Vermont. This size of event allowed us to see where our systems could scale, as well as areas  where they couldn’t and we’ve made adjustments. Our new divisional structure and tools, such as our inventory management system, will allow us to streamline the movement of supplies and resources in a way we couldn’t before.

Recovery:  Perhaps the greatest lesson we learned was the value of having a standardized recovery program – one that is predictable and repeatable and that scales to meet the need.  You’ve probably seen the new Recovery Services program materials and resources; what’s currently available is just the start.

All this to say we’ve learned a great deal from Sandy and our many other operations over the past few years. We’re committed to taking the lessons we learn and applying them to the programs we create and the services we provide.

Last week, I was asked a very simple question by a reporter: “How would you characterize your response to Sandy?” My answer was equally simple – We couldn’t be prouder. We are proud of our efforts to help thousands of families move back into their homes. We are proud of the massive scale of feeding and distribution we provided. And, we are proud of the fact that we’ve spent or committed to spend 99 percent of the $311.5 million entrusted to us by our donors for our Sandy work.

Most importantly, we’re proud that when we put out the call for help, you answered, and it made a difference in the lives of others.

I am humbled to be a part of this amazing organization and to work each and every day alongside you to take care of those in need. We are committed to doing even better in the next disaster, and the one after that.

See more at: http://www.redcross.org/support/donating-fundraising/where-your-money-goes/sandy-response

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