Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Three Questions: Zachary Terzano

By Dana Gray, American Red Cross in Greater NY

"Three Questions" is an American Red Cross in Greater New York blog series featuring staff, volunteers, and partners who help carry out our humanitarian mission. Through these short interviews, we hope to shine a light on our different programs and get to know those who make this work possible.


Zachary Terzano has been involved with the American Red Cross since he took a water safety class in Hempstead, Long Island at six years old. Zachary has continued his passion for the water through his teenage and adult life. He started as a Water Safety Instructor at 16 years old and later began lifeguarding at 24. In the past year and half, Zachary has become an Instructor Trainer, training people on Long Island via the organization (and Red Cross partner) Aquatic Solutions. He also works to promote Red Cross Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguarding classes and make sure that safety guidelines are being met.

What should someone keep in mind when visiting a pool for the first time?

A big thing when you first go to a facility is to look for signage, that’s the biggest thing, it’s the tell-tale indication of what is safe, what to do, what not to do. They’ll be pool rules, things like that, around the pool. Also, the lifeguard has more knowledge on that so anything that the lifeguard does enforce or tells you to do you want to follow that. You also have outdoor backyard pools which get a little bit more dangerous, so just making sure that the owner of the house is alert. I have a pool in my backyard now, so just making sure that anytime that I have people over, I’m always on top of it, it's a big responsibility. If you do have a party it’s good to have a certified lifeguard there. 

What causes the most accidents and what should people do if an accident happens?

When you’re with your peers you always want to have fun, joke around with your friends. A big thing is horseplay that’s unnecessary, and unfortunately, that’s the biggest thing that leads to danger. Yes, have fun but you want to do that in a safe way. [If there is a problem] in a supervised facility a lifeguard would be trained to help them and address that situation, but if it is unfortunately not a supervised facility or you are in a backyard, calling 911 is the biggest thing to make sure you do. It is also a big thing to try to take an American Red Cross class just to be at least trained in CPR or First Aid. The Red Cross also has some really nice resources like the First Aid app.

Why is water safety so important to you personally?

My friend in college was diving into the water and hit his head and ended up breaking his neck. He was on the swimming team and was a qualified swimmer, but you still have to be careful when you’re in and near the water. He recovered and was back swimming for the next year, but unfortunately accidents happen, and you just have to try to be safe.

Monday, July 15, 2019

In Case You Missed It - July 15

On Friday, GNY Red Cross staff and volunteers assisted those affected by a
massive fire on Watson Ave in the Bronx (Photo: Kevin Suttlehan)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 253 adults and 80 children following 54 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Monday, July 8, 2019

In Case You Missed It - July 8

Gerald Rothstein, one of the volunteers at the GNY Red Cross, was featured in our most recent #MyRedCrossLife Instagram post (Photo: Matt Lamonica) 
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 109 adults and 30 children following 32 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Monday, July 1, 2019

In Case You Missed It - July 1


GNY Red Cross staff and volunteers participated in the NYC World Pride March 2019 (Photo: Josh Lockwood) 

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 82 adults and 17 children following 49 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review
Upcoming Events and Opportunities


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Three Questions: Henry Chu

By Dana Gray and Alessia Garcia, American Red Cross in Greater NY

"Three Questions" is an American Red Cross in Greater New York blog series featuring staff, volunteers, and partners who help carry out our humanitarian mission. Through these short interviews, we hope to shine a light on our different programs and get to know those who make this work possible.


Henry Chu, a retired business owner, joined the American Red Cross in Greater New York as a volunteer nearly five years ago. At the Red Cross, Henry completes two to three shifts a week as a disaster responder. In this role, Chu helps provide assistance to New Yorkers affected by local disasters like fires, floods, vacates and building collapses. In addition to supporting the Red Cross locally, Chu at times deploys outside of New York following large-scale emergencies. In 2017, he been deployed to Houston to help Hurricane Harvey 
relief. In his spare time Henry gives bicycle tours of Manhattan, some of which are 8-hour tours through multiple boroughs. Chu also volunteers with other organizations.

What did you hope to find by volunteering with the Red Cross and have you found it?

Volunteering for the Red Cross gives me a platform to be able to go out and help other people and also to meet other people that share the common goal of helping out those that are in need, using resources to benefit those who really need help. It’s very fulfilling. I’ve been with the Red Cross for five years. The Red Cross is a family. You come in here and everyone says hello to everybody. No one is a stranger here.

What’s been challenging for you?

The most challenging part would be that you don’t know enough to do a better job. What you know is maybe sufficient to do a good job and once you represent the Red Cross you’re going to want to do a better job. I will never say that I have learned enough. It’s difficult to push yourself to do better than you’re already doing. I find it happens when you’re responding to any major hurricanes or floods. Being on deployment and seeing that there are so many things that need to be done. And what you can do is limited. 


What was your first volunteer experience?

One of my first experiences was working during Hurricane Sandy [with another organization]. It’s still fresh in my mind. During Sandy I was a case manager. I was out in the field and I was going door to door to see the people that needed help and then we provided assistance to them. All the people that we helped were undocumented. It was a struggle because in the beginning a lot of people are not sure who you are. Since they’re undocumented they’re reluctant to talk to you or get help from you even though they lost everything. That was the greatest struggle, trying to tell them that we’re not a government agency and that we don’t share information with government agencies, that we’re an independent charitable organization that is there to help people that suffered because of the hurricane.



Monday, June 24, 2019

In Case You Missed It - June 24

The Greater NY Red Cross participated in the Long Beach Pride Parade last Sunday.
(Photo: Lori-Ann Spaccarelli-Pizzarelli)

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 76 adults and 23 children following 40 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

In Case You Missed It - June 17

The Greater NY Red Cross kicked off the lifesaving #MissingTypes campaign on
World Blood Donor Day on the Today Show.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 115 adults and 37 children following 43 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review
Upcoming Events and Opportunities