Thank You to Walmart for Their Support of Disaster Relief

Walmart Mutual St. 2

When Northeast Wisconsin was impacted by SIX tornadoes and straight line winds in August, friends, neighbors and local organizations jumped in to help those in need.  The Walmart store (#1982) in Appleton on Mutual Way is still helping.

Michael Queen, Shift Manager, presented Betsy Wandtke, Major Gifts Officer, with a check for $1,000 for Disaster Relief.  The presentation was made during the store’s grand opening after the major remodeling project.  The event was attended by other store managers, employees and organizations also getting support for their causes.  It was an energetic and uplifting meeting.

We want to thank Walmart for their support of the community not only during the disaster, but after as well.  We couldn’t do what we do without their help!

How the Red Cross is helping!

A house in the Freedom area destroyed by the tornadoes.

A house in the Freedom area destroyed by the tornadoes.

The early morning of August 7, 2013 Northeast Wisconsin was hit with five tornadoes, confirmed by the National Weather Service causing power outages, damage to homes and businesses, and leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

Red Cross workers where immediately called to action to respond to those impacted by the tornadoes and storms. Our support, to those impacted, continues as some are just starting to get their power restored.

As of Aug 8, our total response includes:

  • Serving 4,920 meals and snacks to those impacted.
  • Distribution of 7,500 pounds of ice.
  • Three shelters open (Wrightstown, Appleton and New London) for people to receive water, food, ice, a place to stay, and a place to charge electronics.
  •  Two mobile feeding trucks going out into the impacted communities delivering water, ice, snacks, sandwiches, and gloves.
  • 72 Red Cross workers responding to those in need.
Volunteer, Chris Worm, from Fond du Lac, giving out water and sandwiches to those in need.

Volunteer, Chris Worm, from Fond du Lac, giving out water and sandwiches to those in need.

Red Cross will be sending two mobile feeding trucks this afternoon, and over the weekend to the communities of Wrightstown, Freedom, Appleton, Hortonville and New London. These trucks will have water, ice, snacks, sandwiches and gloves to distribute to those in need.

Our shelter in Wrightstown closed as of 9:30am, Thursday, August 8 and our New London shelter closed at 1:00pm today. The Appleton shelter, located at Appleton West HS, 1610 Badger Ave, will be closed at 7:00pm tonight.

Individuals can pick up ice and supplies at the Appleton shelter until 7:00pm today or at our Appleton Office, located at 1302 E. Wisconsin Ave until 4:00pm today.

If you need help due to storm/tornado damage throughout Northeast Wisconsin, please call 1-800-236-8680 for assistance. Disaster teams are ready to help you with your immediate emergency needs.

Want to see pictures of our volunteers in action?  Check out our flickr site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/newredcross/

If you would like to make a financial gift please go to: http://www.redcross.org, or call 1-800-Red-Cross (1-800-733-2767)

Thanks to Great Partners Red Cross is Prepared

May 29, 2012 to support Wisconsin and Michigan bordering communities relief efforts, American Red Cross Chapters throughout Wisconsin received 11 Briggs & Stratton generators and 13 pressure washers as part of a large donation to support the organization preparedness and response to disasters and emergencies.

Briggs & Stratton donated generator being used to power our Appleton Red Cross office.

Briggs & Stratton donated generator being used to power our Appleton Red Cross office.

Today we are putting that donation to good use. The American Red Cross is not immune from disasters. Our Appleton office, located at 1302 E. Wisconsin Ave, was impacted by the Northeast Storms and lost power early this morning and is currently still without power at 1:00pm today.

Staging area at the Appleton office for our feeding operation.

Staging area at the Appleton office for our feeding operation.

Thanks to the generosity of Briggs & Stratton we are able to power our Appleton office by generator so we are able to use this facility as a central hub in coordinating our disaster efforts across Northeast Wisconsin. This storm is very wide spread including the cities of Manitowoc, De Pere, Green Leaf, Wrightstown, Appleton, New London, Freedom, Hortonville and many other communities. Having a functional central office location is critical in being able to respond to the needs of those impacted.

The Briggs & Stratton gift is not only helping Wisconsin and the Michigan boarder communities be prepared but also across our nation.

The donation by Briggs & Stratton included 847 generators and 483 pressure washers to Red Cross chapters in disaster-prone locations across the United States and Puerto Rico. The generators can supply power at disaster shelters and service centers during relief operations and even power devices within our chapter’s offices. The pressure washers will ensure a high level of cleanliness for washing cots, food containers and other cleaning projects.

You can read the full story of the Briggs & Stratton donation by clicking  HERE .

Are YOU Prepared if This Happened to YOU??

30 Neenah homes, businesses lose water service

Neenah crews work on the water supply, Aug. 5, 2013, in an area of the city where coliform bacteria was found. Photo courtesy WLUK/Chad Doran

The American Red Cross will have water available for residents affected by the water shut off until they are able to get water back into their home.  If this happened to you, would you be prepared?

The Red Cross is here to make sure you are as prepared as you possibly can be for potential disasters and other emergencies. These events can strike suddenly, at anytime and anywhere. There are three actions everyone can take that can help make a difference.

Be Red Cross Ready Checklist

To learn more about disaster planning or to download our Red Cross preparedness apps go to:   http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps

“Songs of the Season” Benefiting the American Red Cross

IvoryWind at the Steakhouse 024 “Songs of the Season”

A Candlelight Performance

Ivory Wind with Strings

Joyce Josie, Piano    Ann Stevens, Flute      Laurie Young, Violin

Saturday, December 8th

Time: 6:30 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church of Weyauwega

200 South Pine Street

BENEFITING THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

Free Will Offering

to support Disaster Relief and Service to the Armed Forces

Picture  yourself  in  a  quiet  sanctuary,  candles  glowing  in  each  window  and  the  lights  of  the  Christmas  tree  softly  shining.  Join  with kindred  spirits  on  Saturday,  December  8th  beginning  at  6:30p.m.  for an  evening  of  Christmas  musical  selections  on  piano,  flute  and violin.  First  Presbyterian  Church  of  Weyauwega  will  host  Ivory  Wind with  Strings  Attached  as  they  present  their  third  annual  performance of  “Songs  of  the  Season”  benefiting  the  local  chapter  of  the American  Red  Cross  HEROES.  The  ensemble  includes  Joyce  Josie  on piano (ivory),  Ann  Stevens  on  flute  (wind) and  Laurie  Young  on violin (strings attached).  Each  extends  a  warm  welcome  and  an escape  from  the  hectic  rush  of  the  holidays  for  an  evening  of  musical  reflection  and  refreshments. 

THANK YOU

Door County men help those hardest hit by hurricane

Written by Samantha Hernandez Door County Advocate

Volunteer Ron Maloney of Sturgeon Bay is currently stationed on Long Island at an American Red Cross distribution center. / Submitted

Two American Red Cross volunteers from Sturgeon Bay have answered the call of duty and are now on the East Coast helping those hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.

What some have dubbed a “superstorm” decimated several eastern states after it touched down last week, leaving people homeless or displaced and without power, food and water. The category 1 storm caused schools, businesses and mass transit to shut down.

Red Cross volunteers Rudy Senarighi and Ron Maloney were deployed to New Jersey and Long Island respectively.

Senarighi, who spent more than 25 years as a guidance counselor with the Green Bay School District and later the Sturgeon Bay School District, is working as a mental health supervisor. He arrived on Oct. 31 in Philadelphia and drove to Somerset, N.J. From there he was sent to Tinton Falls, N.J.

He is with a team of five other mental health workers and nurses. Since reaching New Jersey his team and others have made 17,000 support contacts. Part of Senarighi‘s job is to make contact with those who might need mental health services and put them in touch with agencies that will be able to assist them in the coming weeks.

The nurses and counselors offer “health services and emotional support contact,” Senarighi said.

He said the volunteers are really only able to give “Band-Aid” care.

“The hardest part is leaving and not seeing what happens to them,” Senarighi said. “Because you really want them to make it.”

There are 5,300 people from all over the country volunteering in the hardest-hit areas, he said.

Right now people are most concerned with an impending storm that was due to hit today.

“The big issue right now there is a nor’easter predicted for Wednesday, and it’s supposed to be a big one,” Senarighi said.

The last thing people need is to deal with is cold and rainy conditions on top of everything else, he said.

As his team travels from shelter to shelter, they’ve seen the destruction left by the storm.

“You know the beaches are wiped clean, the downtown areas are deserted, the sand from the beaches is piled thick and high,” he said.

Power companies with crews from all over the country and road crews are working around the clock to get people back on track.

“Boy, it’s a mess,” he said. “Lots and lots of water damage, as you’d imagine,” he said. People have had to throw out furniture and mattresses that were ruined by the flooding.

While schools have been closed in New Jersey, Senarighi has seen many of the local high school students volunteering at the Red Cross center, manning the phones and helping with other tasks. Schools are slated to open today or Monday.

Senarighi is slated to return home Nov. 16.

For Maloney, who left Sturgeon Bay on Saturday for the East Coast, his pitching in and helping has gone a little slower, since the city of New York is still turning its city-run shelters over to the Red Cross. With all the volunteers coming in, people are still being given their assignments.

Maloney is currently stationed, for a minimum of three weeks, at a Red Cross bulk distribution center on Long Island. He and other volunteers are staying in a Marine barracks. His job is to help get trucks loaded and drive the supplies to the designated shelters.

Monday was Maloney’s first full day on the job. He distributed supplies to a shelter being run out of a Church of the Nazarene. The shelter is not affiliated with the Red Cross, but the volunteer organization does supply to shelters in need of supplies.

He said going from shelter to shelter can take anywhere from a half-hour to two hours.

Maloney and Senarighi were astounded at how long the lines are for gas stations.

A few miles west of the coast, there are still lots of power outages, meaning traffic lights were not working. Also, many gas stations had either run out of gasoline or didn’t have the power to pump the gas, Maloney said.

Senarighi saw gas lines that went on for seven miles.

Both men are touched by the strength of the human spirit that they see around them.

“You know its amazing how upbeat everybody is,” Maloney said. “In the shelter everybody is really willing to help each other … you don’t see a lot of people who are really down.”

“It still amazes me, this is like my ninth deployment for a national disaster, and I continue to see people helping people,” Senarighi said.

Red Cross Workers Provide Comfort Amid Devastation

Some of the most visible activities of the Red Cross during a disaster involve giving people food, water and shelter. These are critically important, but they’re not the entire story.

After going through a disaster such as Hurricane Sandy—the likes of which most people had not seen before—survivors often need someone to listen to their story and provide a comforting word and presence.

The Red Cross has more than 5,000 disaster workers helping those affected by Sandy, some of whom are mental health volunteers. In the hardest hit areas of New York and New Jersey, these volunteers go from neighborhood to neighborhood to talk to people and help them cope.

Mental health volunteers are also able to refer people to Red Cross health services workers, who do wellness checks and make sure elderly residents are ok. These volunteers also make sure residents have access to any needed medications or equipment.

Even for those Red Cross workers whose official roles lie elsewhere—for example, in driving an emergency response vehicle and handing out hot meals—they too are always ready to provide personal encouragement and support.

Dick McGee, a retired clinical psychologist and Red Cross volunteer, was in Long Beach on Long Island, N.Y., to deliver meals. One of the people he met happened to be Jackie Blessinger, a student studying to be a clinical psychologist. She had put her studies on hold to help her father clean up after the storm.

Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge deposited five feet of ocean water in the living area of Phil Blessinger’s home. “Hurricane Irene last year was annoying,” he said, ”but nothing like this devastation.”

For Jackie Blessinger, McGee’s presence gave her a chance to vent about being away from her studies and talk about her future plans with someone who had decades of experience in her chosen field.

Before returning to the job at hand, Jackie insisted a friend take a picture of her and her dad with their new Red Cross friend. Jackie’s animated enthusiasm also brought a smile back to her father’s face as they resumed the task of cleaning out the house.

Just a brief encounter with a caring Red Cross volunteer helped them take a brief break from their labors and give them renewed confidence that a better day was, in fact, going to come.

How You Can Help

The response to Sandy is likely to be the largest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years. To donate, visit http://www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Local Red Cross volunteers to help Sandy victims

Written by Charles Davis Green Bay Press-Gazette

American Red Cross volunteer Donna LaPlante of Little Suamico stopped at a Green Bay site before heading to New York to help victims of Superstorm Sandy on Oct. 30, 2012. / Charles Davis/Press-Gazette

Two local American Red Cross volunteers are leaving this morning for New York to help feed victims impacted by post-tropical cyclone Sandy.

“They are going to be living in conditions and working in conditions that are identical to the people they’re helping,” said Steve Hansen, chapter executive of the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin. “This is not a vacation for our volunteers.”

Sandy hit the East Coast on Monday, leading to an estimated billion of dollars in damage, millions of people without electric power, thousands of flight cancellations, extreme flooding and at least 17 deaths.

Ginny Gibson of Iron Mountain, Mich., and Donna LaPlante of Little Suamico, will take an emergency response vehicle on a 17-hour drive to the East Coast. The women are expected to arrive late Wednesday in Middletown, N.Y., where they will then be directed to help residents in an area impacted by the storm. The response mission is expected to last from two to three weeks. Southern Baptist disaster relief teams will prepare meals, and the women will then deliver the food to neighborhoods that have been damaged.

“It’s such a rewarding experience to help and give someone a warm meal who hasn’t had a warm meal for days,” Gibson said, adding she has previously responded to several natural disasters, including helping victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

On Tuesday, the women helped load the vehicle with bedding, water and equipment at the American Red Cross offices at 121 Bader St. On the drive there, the volunteers expect to face road closures, downed trees and severe weather.

More than 3,000 American Red Cross volunteers nationwide are responding to the East Coast, Hansen said. Seven volunteers and one employee from the eastern region of Wisconsin already have responded, and another 15 volunteers are on standby to travel to the region once travel restrictions have been removed.

About 30 American Red Cross volunteers from the eastern region of Wisconsin helped in Gulf Coast relief efforts after Hurricane Isaac hit in late August, Hansen said.

“It’s our job to anticipate and prepare for these types of disasters. This is what we do,” he added.

The storm canceled about 100 blood drives in the East Coast region on Monday and local residents are encouraged to donate blood, Hansen said.

— cedavis@greenbaypressgazette.com and follow him on Twitter @pgcharlesdavis.

Red Cross Continues Large Sandy Relief Operation

Residents should listen to local authorities as widespread power outages and
storm damages make travel dangerous

The American Red Cross is continuing a major relief operation throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast to shelter and assist people affected by Superstorm Sandy. Millions awoke this morning to power outages, fallen trees, scattered debris, and flooded neighborhoods and the Red Cross is working hard to get help where it is needed.

Nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in more than 250 Red Cross shelters across 16 states including New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Indiana, and Michigan. These numbers could increase as the storm moves into cities like Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee with heavy wind, rain and snow.

“Our first priority is to get people the help they need – providing families and individuals with a safe place to stay and food to eat,” said Charley Shimanski, senior vice president of Disaster Services for the Red Cross. “While it is too early to know the full extent of Sandy’s damage, we expect to be working with a variety of partners to help people for the next several weeks.”

The Red Cross has mobilized 1,700 disaster workers from all over the country who have served more than 25,000 meals and snacks so far. We have also activated167 response vehicles and shipped in more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals. This is a huge disaster, bigger than any one organization can handle and the Red Cross is working closely with multiple partners including a variety of civic groups, advocacy organizations, professional organizations and houses of worship to share their expertise and volunteers.

SAFETY AFTER THE STORM In areas hit by this storm, the Red Cross urges people to check on their neighbors, make sure everyone is okay, and take care of each other until help arrives. Everyone should follow the direction of their local officials during this disaster – evacuate if told to do so, stay in a safe place and off the roads until the storm is over, and do not return home until officials say it is okay.

To find a Red Cross shelter, people can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or check local media outlets. People can let their loved ones know how they are by using the “I’m Safe” button on the Red Cross Hurricane App which can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can also register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website to let loved ones know they are okay. To register, visit http://www.redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

With more than 7 million people without power as of Tuesday morning, residents should take precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones. For those without power, surround food with ice in a cooler or refrigerator to keep food cold for a longer period of time and keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. Use flashlights, not candles. Residents should also turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment and any appliances, equipment or electronics that were on when the power went out to avoid damaging them when the power is restored. Finally, eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car as traffic lights will be out and roads congested.

FINANCIAL AND BLOOD DONATIONS NEEDED “The Red Cross response to Sandy is very large and will be very costly, affecting a massive area spanning much of the eastern half of the country. We need the public’s help now,” said Shimanski.   

Financial donations help the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy. To donate, people can 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 someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Approximately 300 Red Cross blood drives have already been cancelled due to the storm, and more are expected. The Red Cross is urging immediate blood and platelet donations in areas unaffected by this storm and asks that people in the affected areas consider donating blood once the storm passes through and it’s safe to do so.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet height and weight requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and who are generally in good health may be eligible to donate blood. To schedule an appointment, please go to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

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.

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