Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In Case You Missed It - Feb 20

Students of Primrose Elementary assembled comfort kits for Stephanie Crispinelli Day. (Photo: Carolyn Sherwin)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 114 adults and 34 children following 51 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

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In Case You Missed It - Feb 13

Photo: Ronnie Rigos
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 84 adults and 44 children following 48 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
  • Feb 15, 16, 20: Red Cross blood drive: 2 to 7pm: 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Feb 18: Want to become a part of the Red Cross Movement and help change the world one community at a time? Register to attend our volunteer orientation and learn about the many ways you can impact your community and make new friends by volunteering with the American Red Cross.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Best (and Safest) in Show



Puppy Preparedness: 9 Tips to Keep Your Pets Warm and Safe This Winter
By Matthew Hurst, American Red Cross Greater NY Region

If you’re like us, you’ve got puppies on your mind as New York City hosts the annual Westminster Dog Show this week! We’ll be watching along while the pups parade, strutting their stuff and wagging their tails inside Madison Square Garden. The atmosphere inside will help distract us from the snow and cold that has been sweeping through New York these pas few days. The dogs on stage also remind us that for pets to look their best they need protection from the harsh winter conditions outside and they need to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected.

So what can you do to protect and prepare your pets during the winter? Here are a few simple tips to keep them safe:

1. Bring your pets inside! It’s cold out there, and what’s bad for us is also bad for man’s best friend.

2. Be careful around space heaters! Space heaters pose many risks. Not only can they burn your pet, your pet can also knock them over and start a fire.

3. Be mindful of the paws! Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

4. If pets cannot come indoors, keep them warm  in a dry, draft-free space large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to keep them warm.



5. Dress your dog in style for winter weather and make sure they are wearing a collar or ID tag with their name and your cell phone number.

6. These days, there’s an app for everything, including keeping your dog safe. Download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app for iOS and Android smartphones
7. Love may be the best medicine, but if your doggy gets meds from the vet, be sure to keep some in supply in case you get snowed in this winter.

8. Be ready by keeping a preparedness kit for your pets all year long. It should include food, water, and any medications for your pets. A chew toy would also be a nice gesture.
9. And in case of an emergency evacuation, never leave your pet behind in the cold. Remember, if it’s not safe enough for you, it’s not safe enough for your pet. 

You like these photos? Check out the full series here. Thanks to our friends at Good Dog Therapy for sharing!


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine Greeting to Red Cross Volunteer Couples: Sarah & Conrad

by Stan Frank, American Red Cross

If an individual can find great reward in volunteering with the American Red Cross, it stands to reason that a couple can double the reward! That’s exactly what several couples at the American Red Cross in Greater New York have discovered. This Valentine's Day, we celebrate some of their stories.

Conrad and Sarah Meyer

Most Tuesday evenings, Sarah and Conrad Meyer volunteer together 
as Disaster Action Team (DAT) members in the Bronx

Conrad and Sarah Meyer have been married for 36 years and each has their own interests and activities. But at the Greater New York Red Cross, they are one of several couples who work together as volunteers for the Disaster Action Team serving the region.

After retiring from successful careers in financial services, Conrad and Sarah sought to give back by helping others. Conrad has been on the board of the Greater New York Red Cross for more than a dozen years and has been volunteering with Sarah as DAT members for the past five years.

“Bringing shelter, food and clothing to those affected by disasters brings us great personal gratification,” said Conrad. “Working with others on our team whom we respect and consider to be good friends, and seeing first-hand the results of our efforts is the most satisfying work we can do.”

Thank you Sarah and Conrad for all you do for the American Red Cross and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine Greeting to Red Cross Volunteer Couples: Deborah & Michael

by Stan Frank, American Red Cross

If an individual can find great reward in volunteering with the American Red Cross, it stands to reason that a couple can double the reward! That’s exactly what several couples at the American Red Cross in Greater New York have discovered. This Valentine's Day, we celebrate some of their stories.

Deborah Kerr and Michael Hoeft

Deborah Kerr and Michael Hoeft have known one another for nearly 17 years and have been together as a couple for just over two years. They have volunteered together for the Red Cross on Long Island for a little over a year, but have a long history of volunteering with the organization: Michael started volunteering with the New Jersey Region in 2009 and Deborah on Long Island in 2000.

For the Red Cross, Deborah serves as a Disaster Action Team Captain (DAT) as well as a Shelter Manager. Professionally, Deborah works as a Legal Assistant, doing contract work for a large petroleum company on Long Island. As a volunteer, Michael worked with Disaster Services Technology (DST). He recently joined the Greater New York team as the Logistics Program Support Manager after he retired with 26 years of service with the rank of Lieutenant from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department.


Deborah Kerr and Michael Hoeft volunteer together on Long Island.

In addition to volunteering with the Red Cross, Deborah and Michael both volunteer their time and service as Amateur Radio Operators and are active members of several local emergency communications organizations and Amateur Radio Clubs. They spend quite a bit of time annually managing amateur radio volunteers for three events in Manhattan: the TCS New York City Marathon, the United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon, and the LifeTime Tri New York City Triathlon. Deborah also serves as president of the ECSARC – a partner group of the American Red Cross, which operates out of its home base at the Red Cross’s Long Island office in Mineola.

Asked why they volunteer, Deborah said, “We both volunteer for several organizations and enjoy being able to give back to others. We both enjoyed great careers and volunteering was always a way to give something back, demonstrate our capabilities, and work alongside many exceptional people that give their time for nothing more than a ‘thank you’.”


Thank you Deb and Mike for all you do for the American Red Cross and Happy Valentine’s Day!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine Greeting to Red Cross Volunteer Couples: Rick & Nancy

by Stan Frank, American Red Cross

If an individual can find great reward in volunteering with the American Red Cross, it stands to reason that a couple can double the reward! That’s exactly what several couples at the American Red Cross in Greater New York have discovered. This Valentine's Day, we celebrate some of their stories.

Rick and Nancy Stein

Rick Stein is a proud Instructor of The Pillowcase Project and a Community Ambassador
Rick and Nancy Stein were learned of the Red Cross 20 years ago when Red Cross instructors came to Chappaqua, New York to offer Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) to local residents. Since then, the Stein’s, both of whom are now retired, have been active volunteers in many Red Cross activities in the Metro New York North Red Cross Chapter.

They started out as Disaster Action Team (DAT) responders, for which they became certified Emergency Response Vehicle Drivers. Both have helped at many shelter activities and Nancy has served as the feeding lead on many occasions. Both frequently canteen at disasters and at other activities in support of local first responders, and enjoy acting as 'friends and family' at Westchester Airport emergency drills.

Nancy Stein is a Disaster Action Team Responder 
and works with kids in the Pillowcase Project
Nancy is an active participant in The Pillowcase Project where Rick is also certified instructor. Rick is also a Red Cross Community Ambassador and part of their Mass Care Leadership Team. Both Nancy and Rick help support their local Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) Group and perform Logistics functions whenever volunteers are needed in an emergency.

When asked what they get out of volunteering for the Red Cross, Rick responds, “We enjoy the comradeship of the Red Cross volunteers and staff. Fortunately, we are in a position to ‘give back’ and feel both a desire and an obligation to do so. Without doubt, it is far better to give than to receive!”

Thank you Rick and Nancy for all you do to support the American Red Cross and happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Notes From Deployment - Georgia Tornadoes

Trudy Culley


At the end of January, a slew of at least 60 tornadoes hit the Southeast leaving more than 1,100 homes affected across Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Florida. Red Cross volunteers from all over the country deployed to join the disaster relief effort, including several from right here in Greater NY. One of these individuals was Trudy Culley a Health Services volunteer with our Long Island Chapter.


Trudy originally joined the Red Cross as a volunteer in 2012 after seeing the devastation left by Superstorm Sandy. As a registered nurse she deployed to Georgia in a Health Services role. Originally from Tennessee, her southern roots provided added motivation for her to travel far from home to help those in need. Trudy was kind enough to take some time from her deployment to talk with us and give some insight into her experiences on the ground.

Can you talk about the process of deploying? 
[Previously] I never felt like I had an extended period of time where I could deploy. But when I heard about the Georgia tornadoes on the news, it actually just all fell into place. It was very quiet at home, and I had had enough training and enough experience to finally do my first national volunteer response. And so, I said I wanted to do it and I was in the air within 24 hours. Hearing about the location down South really spurred me to take extra action to make sure I got in front of somebody and said, ‘this is my chance, this is where I really feel I need to go right now.’

What does it mean for you to be helping out in Georgia for the Red Cross? 
Because I was born and raised in Tennessee, I feel a strong kinship with Southerners. Coming here feels like coming home, and I thank the Red Cross for giving me this opportunity. People everywhere want to reach out and help their neighbors when disaster strikes. I think the desire is especially strong when you or a loved one have been through a disaster. The Red Cross gives me and all volunteers an organization through which we can use our skills to offer support and services to people everywhere in our country.

What were you expecting to see on the ground? 
I knew the destruction was pretty devastating and I was prepared for that. But I didn’t have the notion for how spread out it was, you know, the miles and miles of devastation. I mean, this is a 16-county response. I think the radius is about 200 miles. The worst devastation occurred where I am, in Albany, which is in the Northwest of the state.


Can you talk about your work? 
It’s kind of been a combination of casework, health services and a lot of outreach. For this disaster response, the area of devastation was so large that it took mobilizing a group of volunteers in pairs to fan out across the 14-county area for over a week to get to all the displaced and affected people. As part of the health services team, I provided assessment and care for affected residents with unmet non-emergency health care needs. Medications, blood glucose testing supplies, eyeglasses and dentures that were lost or destroyed as a result of the tornadoes are some of the items we replaced. Along with caseworkers, who offered assistance with food, clothing and shelter, we went out in teams to find and offer help to the victims. 

Can you talk about the families that you met? 
There’s so many; but probably what would encapsulate the experience the most would be a couple I went to see with two caseworkers two days ago in Bluffton, Georgia. (Right on the Alabama border.) They were living in a farm community, they had a trailer. The night of the tornado they realized they weren’t going to survive if they stayed, based on what they were seeing on the news. So they got in their car and drove five minutes south to a relative’s house, and 5 minutes later their trailer was completely destroyed. There is nothing even left, it’s just ground and a porch. We went out to see them and they met us at the property. They were just so thankful for everything. They were very open, very warm people and I’ve experienced that with everyone. They’re just so gracious and so willing to talk and receive care. A lot of times they will refuse the small amount of money we're able to give and say ‘give it to someone who needs it more.’

Can you talk about the camaraderie within the RC team from all over the country? 
We are a big country with people from many different backgrounds and cultures. This disaster response has people coming together from Maine, Arizona, Virginia, Utah, Florida, Louisiana, just to name a few. When we as a team reach out together, the differences just disappear. It's a great feeling to be part of a team made up of people from all corners of America, to say together, "you are not alone. We are here for you."





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