Monday, April 27, 2015

In Case You Missed It - April 27

NEPAL EARTHQUAKE


  • The global Red Cross network, led by the Nepal Red Cross, has mounted an international relief effort to provide emergency humanitarian assistance following Saturday’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal. While details of the impact continue to come in, the Nepal Red Cross, which has extensive experience in responding to natural disasters, is providing first aid, search and rescue, blood to medical facilities in the capital and support to first responders. Read more about the global Red Cross response to this tragedy and how you can help.
  • Our international Red Cross partners have set up a “Family Links” website to search for missing loved ones and to register those who are missing. Click here to visit the site.
  • Here in Greater NY, trained Red Cross volunteers are available to address the emotional needs of those worried about loved ones and struggling with the emotional impact of this tragedy. To reach a volunteer for this assistance or for help searching for a missing family member via our “Family Links” website, call 877 RED CROSS (733 2767). Volunteers will also be present in Greater NY communities with a large Nepalese population offering this support in the days to come.   
                         
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 56 adults and 118 children following nearly 40 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming events. 

photo credit: Caroline Sherwin
  • This weekend, as part of our Home Fire Safety Campaign, the Red Cross volunteers were out in Mt. Vernon (Westchester), Roosevelt (Long Island) and Washington Heights (Manhattan) talking to residents about fire safety and installing free smoke alarms. Thank you to all who supported this life-saving initiative including our amazing partners.
  • Early Sunday morning, a fire broke out in a hotel in Alexandria, V.A. where about 100 students from Aviation High School in Queens were staying during a weekend field trip to the DC area. More than half of them lost their belongings and all were forced to relocate in the middle of the night. Our Red Cross colleagues in Virginia were on hand to support the students during this emotionally trying time. Here in Greater NY, the Red Cross mobilized a team at Aviation HS in Long Island City to greet the students returning back to NYC and offer support to them and their parents.
  • Last Saturday, Red Cross volunteers were stationed at the Staten Island Mall, talking to residents about volunteering and providing support to participants taking part in an annual community walk.
  • Also on Saturday, Red Cross supporters gathered at the NetJets Hangar in Westchester for our annual Red and White event to celebrate our mission and to recognize a special honoree: Major Sargent Juanita Wilson. Special thanks to CNN host of New Day, Chris Cuomo for emceeing.
  • Last week, 24-year old Dexia Billingslea spoke to a group of Red Cross supporters about the help she received following a home fire in early April that left her and her children homeless. "Without the Red Cross,” she said, “I don't know what I would have done." 
Upcoming Events   
  • May 2: As part of FDNY’s 150-year anniversary kickoff, Red Cross volunteers will be stationed at fire houses across the City, talking to residents about fire safety and scheduling free smoke alarm installations. To learn more and register, click here.
  •  May 2: As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, volunteers will be out in Staten island, N.Y. and Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. installing free smoke detectors and talking to residents about fire safety. To learn more, email volunteernyc@redcross.org (NYC) or volunteermnyn@redcross.org(Lower Hudson Valley).
  • May 9: Disaster Institute. The Red Cross is holding an intensive volunteer training day in Mount Vernon, N.Y. To learn more including how to sign up, click here.  


Monday, April 20, 2015

In Case You Missed It - April 22



Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 129 adults and 44 children following 63 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming events. 


  • This past Saturday at our Disaster Institute in Yonkers, N.Y., the Red Cross welcomed more than a dozen new volunteers to the Metro NY North team. The one-day volunteer training offered those in attendance the opportunity to take a variety of courses in order to quick start the process to becoming Disaster Services volunteer. Congrats to all our new volunteers and thank you to those who helped plan and staff the training, particularly our partners at the City of Yonkers. Click here for photos from the event.
  • Also on Saturday, Red Cross volunteers were out in full force at the Staten Island Mall, talking to local residents about emergency preparedness.
     
  • Last Thursday, the Red Cross launched its brand new Emergency App. This free, lifesaving resource provides expert advice on what to do in case of disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, home fires, wildfires and more. It is available in app stores for smartphones and tablets and is compatible with the Apple Watch. Learn more.
     
  • In honor of National Volunteer Week, April 12 through April 19, the Red Cross invited staff from across the region to share their #RedCrossMoments. Click here to watch some of these videos.
     
  • In a blog article posted last week, Long Island Red Cross volunteer Elaine Biller shared a first-person account, “Through the Eyes of a Red Cross Volunteer,” of her shift in the East Village two days after explosion.
     
  • Red Cross recently honored volunteers at three separate recognition events. Check out the names of the awardees in Metro NY North, Long Island and NYC.
     
  • More than three weeks after the tragic explosion in the East Village, the Red Cross continues to offer a helping hand. Last Tuesday, Red Cross volunteers distributed comfort and clean-up supplies to residents returning home for the first time.

Upcoming Events  
  • Apr. 20: Red Cross blood drive; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
     
  • Apr. 25: As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, volunteers will be out in Mount Vernon, N.Y. and Roosevelt, N.Y. installing free smoke detectors and talking to residents about fire safety. To learn more, email volunteerlongisland@redcross.org (Long Island) or volunteermnyn@redcross.org (Lower Hudson Valley).
  • Apr. 26: Red Cross volunteers will be in front of the Staten Island Mall, 7am to 3pm, talking to residents about volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross. 
  • Apr. 26: As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, volunteers will be out in Washington Heights installing free smoke detectors and talking to residents about fire safety. To learn more, email volunteernyc@redcross.org.
  • May 9: Disaster Institute. The Red Cross is holding another intensive volunteer training day, this time in Mount Vernon, N.Y. To learn more including how to sign up, click here.  









Thursday, April 16, 2015

Through the eyes of a Red Cross Volunteer: Brick by Brick

By Elaine Biller, Long Island Red Cross Volunteer
L to R: Doreen Brienza and Elaine Biller help
residents and first responders in the E. Village 

Almost a year to the day another building exploded in Manhattan, two men were missing and the East Village neighborhood was rocked to its core, literally and figuratively. A commonality with disasters is that heroes emerge; some tried and true such as the FDNY and NYPD, some expected like the Red Cross, and others are born in the moment: brave civilians who climb fire escapes and run into burning buildings to rescue neighbors. The thread woven amongst them is that they all answered a call to help a community.

The Red Cross’ reception center was working tirelessly assisting displaced residents, and those otherwise affected by the blast. Red Cross workers supported the families of those who waited for word on their loved ones who were last seen in the building moments before the explosion. As residents streamed into the center, a few blocks away, teams in disaster relief trucks supported first responders.

I arrived day two and the painstaking process of digging through debris was well underway. I was part of the team relieving the morning shift. We donned helmets and masks and squinted our eyes against the hazy smoke still filling the sky. We watched the surreal landscape: huge cranes scooping piles of smoldering bricks and debris gently laying it aside. A hush overcoming the site, the cranes hovered like silent birds while dogs and humans searched the ruins, fire fighters turning over each piece brick by brick, timber by timber. It was a reverent moment, searching for a loved one: someone’s son, someone’s brother, the painstakingly slow process of a search and rescue when the promise of hope still hung in air of dust.

I spoke with residents who asked ceaselessly about the victims when one man asked about the girl who was rescued from the fire escape. I told him I did not know, and he told me he was the one who had climbed those steps and brought her down safely. I hugged him and told him he was a hero but he was too humble to accept the praise. Even so, he had joined those ranks. He needed to talk and as Red Cross volunteers we were happy to listen. As the night stretched out we met with more residents who wanted to speak of loss, hope, and of rebuilding above the sounds of steel scraping the street as the crews searched. We spoke with construction workers who found themselves on the scene trying to process what they were seeing, hearing and feeling. Seasoned firefighters shared stories about 9/11 with us, the parallel process bringing memories to the surface for them, then they returned to the search not ready to give up hope.

Later that night we were approached by another neighborhood resident that wanted to know, “How do you do what you do? How do you see all of this and still come back day after day?” He needed to speak and so we listened. He had been across the street when the explosion first occurred. At first, his natural instinct kicked in and he ran in the opposite direction of the boom. Then he turned and ran into the building. Ultimately, he made two trips rescuing a young woman, and several men who worked in the restaurant. He shared, “Man, I thought I was going to die, I just thought, God get me out of here I don’t want to die. ” But he went in twice before flames singed his skin and the heat held him at bay. We gave that hero more hugs, and listened as he sorted his feelings, giving him the number of the Red Cross so he could continue to talk. He kept repeating, “Man, you guys are great. I love the Red Cross, thank you!” We moved back into the night to the first responders as the streets emptied.

I know as a Red Cross worker I see the best in people in the worse of situations. I shake hands with heroes, and work shoulder to shoulder with compassionate people dedicated to relieving the suffering of others. As a Red Cross volunteer, I am grateful to work alongside so many heroes. That is what I told that hero. That is how I come back day after day.


To learn more about the Red Cross Response to the East Village explosion, click here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Apr 13

Brooklyn Disaster Action Team in Flatbush (Brooklyn) installing free smoke alarms.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 172 adults and 55 children following 66 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming events (see below).

Last Week in Review
Upcoming Events
  • Apr. 13 & 15: Red Cross blood drive; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Apr. 17: Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) volunteers will be providing comfort kits and information about SAF services to homeless veterans at the Northport VA Medical Center.
  • Apr. 18: Red Cross will at the Staten Island Mall talking to shoppers about fire safety. Look for our table by the Starbucks.
  • Apr. 18: Red Cross Metro New York North is holding an extensive one-day Disaster Volunteer Institute in Yonkers to help jump start the participation of prospective volunteers. Register today and share this teaser video!
  • Can’t make the date above? There will be another Disaster Volunteer Institute on May 9 in Mt. Vernon.

Monday, April 6, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Apr 6

Photo: Marko Kokic
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 166 adults and 59 children following 56 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming events (see below).

Last Week in Review


Here is a look back at the first week of our resonse to last week's tragic fire and explosion in the East Village. Thank...
Posted by American Red Cross in Greater New York on Saturday, April 4, 2015

Upcoming Events

2015 NYC Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Honorees

Photo credit: Stephen Thorne

For more photos, click here.

Clara Barton Award - Garfield Richards 

Corporate Partnership Award - H & M

Disaster Services Award - Mike DeLeon
Emerging Leader Award - Phil Cogan 
Leadership Award - Richard Gallis

Blood Services Award - Ben and Dale Katzen

Support Services Award - Shane Williams

International Services Award -
Marie-Celine Vandenbempt
Service to the Armed Forces Award
Colleen Tribout-Politi 

Preparedness Health & Safety Award -
Ruth Darvie

Outstanding Campus Red Cross Club Leader Award -
Flora Alam, St John’s University
Outstanding Red Cross Campus Club Award
Yeshiva University

Outstanding High School Club Award
Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management 

Outstanding High School Club Red Cross Leader Award -
Catherine Lin, John Bowne High School

Friday, April 3, 2015

2015 Metro NY North Red Cross Volunteer Recognition Honorees

Photo credit: Matt Lamonica, American Red Cross

For more photos, click here.
Clara Barton Volunteer Leadership Award - Barry Hawkins

Gene Malkis Award - Mary Davis

Good Neighbor Award - Falconn

Corporate Partnership Award - PartnerRe

Good Neighbor Award - Yonkers OEM and the City of Yonkers

Katherine Knapp Award - Jim Heavey, Chief of the Greenwich Police Department

Disaster Services Award - Stanley Daniels

Disaster Services Award - Luz Hermida

Leadership Award – Brian McMullan

Emerging Leader Award – Fran Bernard

Preparedness Health and Safety Award - Daniel Saltzman

Blood Services Award - Joanne Griffin

Service to the Armed Forces Award - Pat Coglianese
  
Service to the Armed Forces Award - Diane Phillips

Support Services Award - Allana Alexander

Outstanding High School Red Cross Club Award -
James O’ Neill High School

Outstanding Red Cross Campus Club Leader Award - Meghan Cramsie, Iona College

Outstanding High School Club Leader Award -
Max Goldstein, Ossining High School

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