National Volunteer Week!

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This National Volunteer Week, April 6 – 12, the American Red Cross Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is celebrating its volunteers and the work they do in the community to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.

One thousand volunteers serve within the 20 counties of the Northeast Wisconsin and our upper Michigan border communities. Nationally, the Red Cross has nearly 400,000 volunteers, which represent more than 90 percent of the Red Cross workforce.

“Our volunteers respond to house fires, teach lifesaving skills, support our military members in the community and much more,” said Jody Weyers, Director Volunteers and Communications. “They help us fulfill our lifesaving mission every day, and we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their service.”

Across the organization, the Red Cross has an average of 14 volunteers for every one employee. According to the Independent Sector, the 2012 value of volunteer time is $22.14 per hour, further evidence of the tremendous value and impact volunteers hold for nonprofits such as the Red Cross.

Last fiscal year, Red Cross volunteers provided food, shelter, comfort and hope to thousands who faced home fires, tornadoes, winter storms and other emergency situations. They trained 49,003 people in lifesaving skills and provided emergency services to families of military members serving around the globe. In addition, we presented 50,000 holiday cards to Veterans and active duty members along with supporting multiple Veteran programs.

They also helped collect 33,872 units of blood which helps support 46 Wisconsin hospitals. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day from volunteer blood donors to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

We also provided 63,893 rides in 2013 to those 60 and over or with a disability get to needed medical, nutritional or employment opportunities in the Brown County area.

Join US_Page_1The Red Cross invites the public to sign up to volunteer and be a part of the lifesaving work it does. The Red Cross is looking for diverse volunteers of all ages and skill levels.

People can go to:  www.redcross.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application. Those interested in hosting a blood drive or scheduling an appointment to give blood can visit redcrossblood.org.

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

Steve Hansen, Regional Chief Operating Officer, welcoming our 100 volunteers and supports.

Steve Hansen, Regional Chief Operating Officer, welcoming our 100 volunteers and supporters.

The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin honored volunteers and community partners November 14, 2013 with its Annual Celebration of Support event held at The Waters in Oshkosh. Special thank you to our event sponsor Festival Foods. One hundred volunteers and supporters attended the event. WBAY-TV Action 2 News Reporter, Emily Matesic served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the evening.

The night began with welcoming words from Steve Hansen, Regional Chief Operating Officer followed by dinner.

After dinner we began our program, with the renaming of our Emergency Services Award after long-time volunteer Victor Fousek, of Coloma, who passed away in July. We continued with the Volunteer Recognition Awards presented to individuals and groups for their exceptional volunteer work and support.

(l-r) Steve Hansen, COO, James Fousek, Edith Fousek with our 2013 Victor Fousek Emergency Services Award Recipients Sharon Holt and Michelle Vogeltanz, Nick Cluppert, Disaster Director

(l-r) Steve Hansen, COO, James Fousek, Edith Fousek with our 2013 Victor Fousek Emergency Services Award Recipients Sharon Holt and Michelle Vogeltanz, Nick Cluppert, Disaster Director

Sharon Holt, of Combined Locks and Michelle Vogeltanz of Appleton, Victor Fousek Emergency Services Award for commitment and dedication to Disaster Services and members of the Disaster Response Team.

Clifford Hunke, of Oshkosh, Community Services Award, was presented for his exceptional work and dedication in the program area of First Aid Station Teams (FAST) which makes dozens of community events safer.

AnnaClaire Sylvester, of Appleton, 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.

Mike and Sandy Smith, of Neenah and Jeff and Susan Treu, of Waupaca, Rookie of the Year, presented to a volunteer for exceptional level of service who has started within the past year.

Steve Hansen, COO, and Board Member, Lauri Struck and her daughter Stacy Struck, of Jack's Maintenance, awarded the Corporate Benefactor Award.

Steve Hansen, COO, and Board Member, Lauri Struck and her daughter Stacy Struck, of Jack’s Maintenance, awarded the Corporate Benefactor Award.

Jack’s Maintenance, Kimberly Clark Foundation and Menasha Corporation Foundation, Corporate Benefactor Award, for a business with outstanding commitment and dedication to the American Red Cross.

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

Tim Cook of Butte Des Morts, Volunteer of the Year Award, presented to the individual who has demonstrated 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.

DSC00425Don Merz, of Pickett, 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.

Services to the Armed Forces: Volunteers Needed

Red Cross SAFDo you like to talk with and help people through trying times and adversity?  Have a military background, or an inner desire to commit to helping military families?  If you do, consider applying to serve as a volunteer Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Chapter Caseworker.

SAF Chapter Caseworkers are a team of local volunteers, working in partnership with SAF National Emergency Communication Call Centers, to provide post-emergency support to military families who have sent an emergency message to a service member or sought emergency financial assistance with a Military Aid Society.

Training:  Training program consists of 6-8 hours total online and self study course work plus one week casework mentorship.

Commitment: After successful completion of training, approximately 6-8 hours per week per month needed to call, talk, and work with military families during the hours of 9:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Skills Needed: Good listening and interviewing skills, ability to handle confidential information and maintain confidentiality, basic computer skills (MS Office), good oral and written communication skills, and appreciation for military culture and military families.

Resources Needed: telephone, computer with an internet connection, and e-mail.

Have Questions?  Contact John Kost, SAF Regional Director, 920.733.4481, john.kost@redcross.org.

 Interested? Click HERE to sign up to become a Red Cross SAF Volunteer!

Get out your Change for the Bucket Brigade Coming to a Location Near You!!

Jim & Nancy

Bucket Brigade on August 29th to Support Local Red Cross Disaster Relief

American Red Cross Disaster Volunteers and local firefighters and emergency workers are teaming up to support the American Red Cross. The Bucket Brigade raises vital funds to support Red Cross disaster relief and preparedness activities in Northeast Wisconsin.

On Thursday, August 29th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., local firefighters and Red Cross disaster volunteers will be collecting donations in their red buckets at various high-traffic, high-visibility locations such as grocery stores and gas stations.

 “As the recent apartment fires and tornadoes have shown, the Red Cross is ready to respond when a disaster strikes,” says Steve Hansen, local Chapter Executive.  “The Bucket Brigade provides a vital source of funding to sustain our relief operations, bringing compassion and hope to those in need. The annual event also enables us to celebrate our very important partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Fire Departments while providing fire prevention information to the community.”

There are 17 participating locations this year:

AbramsAbrams Shell at County D and Sampson Road

AppletonFestival Foods at 1200 W. Northland Avenue

AshwaubenonKwik Trip at 871 Hansen Road

BellevueFestival Foods at 2534 Steffens Court

DarboyFestival Foods at W3195 Van Roy Road

De PereFestival Foods at 1001 Main Avenue

Fond du Lac - Festival Foods at 1125 E. Johnson Street

Green Bay West  - Festival Foods at 2250 West Mason Street

Green Bay East- Copps Food Center at 1819 Main Street

HowardOlsen’s Piggly Wiggly at 2465 Lineville Road

KewauneePiggly Wiggly at 931 Marquette Dr.

ManitowocFestival Foods at 2151 S. 42nd Street

NeenahFestival Foods at 647 S. Green Bay Road

OshkoshFestival Foods at 2415 Westowne Avenue

PulaskiSuper Ron’s at 960 County Road B (NOTE: collection taking place Friday, September 6th)

PulaskiSmuwara’s Bakery at 204 East Pulaski St. (NOTE: collection taking place Saturday morning, September 7th and Sunday morning, September 8th)

SheboyganFestival Foods at 595 S. Taylor Drive

SuamicoFestival Foods at 2348 Lineville Road

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)

Super Donor Days 2013!

By Deb Mylener, Donor Recruitment Representative

mary blood

Julie Brunner donating in honor of her mom, Mary Brunner, because she can’t.

For the past 27 years, a special two-day blood drive has been held here in the Green Bay community to meet the patient needs before the 4th of July holiday.  This year, Super Donor Days was held on Tuesday, July 2 and Wednesday, July 3 at Shopko Hall.

Our goal this year was to collect 425 pints in two days, and we had more than 400 presenting donors with a grand total collection of 398 pints.  Although we fell slightly short of our goal for this event, over 1,190 patient lives may be saved! These donations will make a significant difference during the difficult summer months of blood collection.

Thank you to all of our donors, sponsors and volunteers for another successful year of the Super Donor Days blood drive! More than 90 volunteers helped make this event possible and we could not have done this without the support from our cheerful, friendly and dedicated do-gooders.

THANK YOU!

To view pictures from the event click HERE.

Reflection: Conference on Volunteering and Service – Day One

By: Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communications Director

More than 5,000 volunteer leaders gathered at our Nation’s Capitol June 19-22 for the largest gathering of its kind – The Points of Light’s Annual Conference on Volunteering and Service. Service DAy 1

When you go to a conference of this size people always ask, “What did you learn?” I find it is not so much about what I learned, but it is more about being inspired, rejuvenated and hopeful for change to come.

DAY ONE:  

Talk about inspiration – My first session that I attended was called; Mobilizing Youth for Change presented by the Youth Advisory Council of GenerationOn. This group of 14 teenagers from across the US blew me away with their poise, confidence and forward thinking. These kids, and yes, I mean kids, are changing the world. Take a moment to read their bios and be inspired too.

2013-06-19_13-39-19_43

Next up was the opening plenary, titled “The Spirit of Service.” The plenary is to get you jazzed up and excited for what is to come over the next few days. I love finding out who the guest speakers will be because they are always people of influence, power and great statue. Once again, this year did not disappoint. We opened with the Mayor of the District of Columbia, The Honorable Vincent C. Gray, and closed with one of my favorite motivational speakers (who I had the chance of meeting and talking with when he was in Green Bay for the Green Bay Chamber Annual Meeting last fall) J.R. Martinez, U.S. Army Veteran, Author and Actor.

Vincent Gray jr martinez

My first day closed with a networking event just for Red Cross volunteer managers from across the US. There were about 50 other volunteer managers there as well as Jim Star, VP, Volunteer Management and Kim Gube, Volunteer Relationships Manager for National Headquarters.

Getting that time to “talk shop” with my fellow Red Cross volunteer managers and bend the ear of the people at the top is invaluable. The volunteer management department has been turned on its head this past year with the launch of Volunteer Connection. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is a great tool, and one incredible step for the American Red Cross in being OneRedCross, but with change comes lots of questions.  Volunteer Connection was definitely the big topic of discussion over our beverages and appetizers.

Looking back now, on that first day, it was perfect! A day filled with inspiration from all angles: youth empowerment, empowerment from the top and empowerment from within my own organization and peers.

Stay tuned for day two…… Jody

ps. To view additional day one pictures from the conference click HERE.

We Can Never Say Thank You Enough!

By Betsy A. Wandtke, Major Gift Officer

Oshkosh 1

Donors, Board Members and Volunteers at Kodiak Jack’s in Oshkosh.

It’s always our pleasure to be able to thank our donors for giving us the ability to serve others.  In the last couple of weeks of RED CROSS MONTH, we had three Donor Appreciation Events.  They were casual gatherings complete with appetizers and volunteer interaction.  Not only were they successful in saying thank you, but were a lot of fun to boot!

Our attending donors were able to meet board members, staff members and most importantly, the volunteers that serve our organization.  The pictures that were shown and explained, were mostly regarding “Superstorm Sandy”.  Our volunteers were also able to discuss what an ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) was and how versatile they are, along with other mysteries about how the Red Cross gets things done in the field.

The donors and many of the rest of us were riveted to the stories of survival and the ability of those affected to overcome any situation with the help of a “friend”.  The Red Cross volunteers are those “friends” that show up to do whatever needs to be done.  They are worth their weight in gold!!

The donors also asked questions about SAF (Services to the Armed Forces), Blood Services and other aspects of the American Red Cross.  Our board members and staff were there to answer those questions and more.

We would like to thank Big Tomatoes and Los Banditos in Green Bay, Mark’s East Side in Appleton and Kodiak Jack’s in Oshkosh for their hospitality and donations to make these events happen.

We also would like to thank the volunteers, board members and staff members that were fully engaged in this endeavor.  We could not have done it without them!!

Northeast Wisconsin Marks Red Cross Month in March by Recognizing Volunteers

Chapter seeks more volunteers as it launches easy-to-use online Volunteer Connection system

Washington, D.C. – March 13, 2013 – With March designated as Red Cross Month, Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is recognizing and honoring Red Cross supporters and volunteers as the everyday heroes vital to the organization.

The Red Cross also is encouraging people across the area to join the Red Cross by volunteering, making a financial contribution or donating blood.

“Volunteers are essential to the Red Cross and to our ability to be there in times of disaster and help in other ways in our community,” said Jody Weyers, Volunteers Director. “The Red Cross is always seeking volunteers with a diverse range of backgrounds, ages, talents and skills, and our goal is for the Red Cross to be the premier place for volunteers to work.”

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter is especially interested in volunteers in the areas of Transportation Drivers in the Green Bay Metro area & Oshkosh, Disaster volunteers in the Waupaca and Tri-County area and Senior Friends in Winnebago County. People interested in volunteering should contact the local Red Cross chapter at 920-227-4287 or visit www.redcross.org/newisconsin

The Red Cross is launching a new online volunteer system across the country that is easy to use and better allows new volunteers to match their skills and interests to needs across the organization.

“Our new Volunteer Connection system will be a great benefit for the Red Cross, a great tool for our volunteers and a great asset to our service in communities,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “We believe Volunteer Connection will improve our response to community needs and deliver services of the Red Cross mission by better engaging one of our greatest assets — the talents, time and dedication of our volunteers.”

40503VolConnectionInfographic

Volunteer Connection, which is being used in chapters and other parts of the Red Cross across the United States, was created and deployed thanks to a $3 million grant from W.W. Grainger, Inc.

“Grainger is proud to partner with the American Red Cross in its efforts around Volunteer Connection,” said Jim Ryan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Grainger.  “We both are committed to helping communities impacted by disaster, and this innovative new system further enables the Red Cross to deliver on its mission of providing essential humanitarian services to those in need.”

Grainger’s support for the volunteer management system is another example of its deep partnership and commitment to strengthen the Red Cross. In addition to its financial support for disaster relief, Grainger also is the national founding sponsor of the Ready When the Time Comes program, which recruits and trains the employees of local businesses and organizations as disaster responders. The program has trained more than 14,000 volunteers since 2001.

“It’s a natural fit for Grainger to be involved in emergency preparedness and we are dedicated to help build a stronger network of support within the business community,” said Ryan.

LOCAL RED CROSS RESPONDS TO SEVEN HOME FIRES IN SIX DAYS

Firefighters from five departments battled this blaze at a house in Duvall on Sunday night. / Warren Bluhm/Door County Advocate

Local American Red Cross disaster workers have responded to  seven home and apartment fires in the past six days. If this pace continues, we will exceed our local 171 disasters from last fiscal year. When requested, a team of Red Cross responders coordinate assistance in the form of food, shelter, and emotional support due to fire damage to their homes. All disaster assistance is free and is a gift from the American people to the American people.

“We’re deeply saddened for those affected,” said Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive. “As we continue to provide support to those affected, we also encourage others to take action to minimize the risk of a home fire.”

The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan.

  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half according to the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Have a plan in place can help you escape, including at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home.
  • Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year.

Red Cross responders on the scene were members of the Chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night. Each team member donates their time and talent to help others and the group is always looking for additional recruits. Training is free and the rewards of helping others are great.

For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/homefires

To make a financial donation to your local Red Cross to help people affected by house fires and other disasters here in the United States and around the world, people can click, call or text – visit redcross.org  call 800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. All donations can be designated to support local disasters so you are really helping your communities get back on their feet.

The seven fires this week alone have been in:

  • Green Bay, Brown County
  • Peshtigo, Marinette County
  • Oshkosh, Winnebago County
  • Duvall, Kewaunee County
  • Cato, Manitowoc County
  • Luxemburg, Kewaunee County
  • Maple Creek, Outagamie County
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