Wednesday, May 16, 2018

In Case You Missed It - May 14

"Today, I joined the staff, , my colleagues & several volunteers to
support the 'Sound the Alarm' campaign." - Senator Kevin Parker via Twitter
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 124 adults and 22 children following 30 local responses/events. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (See below)

Last Week in Review

Upcoming Events and Opportunities
  • If you’re a mission-focused undergraduate or graduate college student seeking a meaningful internship experience, then apply to our Red Cross program—a rare opportunity to explore and enrich your future career prospects while serving others. Apply here: http://bit.ly/2x9lnqV 
  • May 17, 18, 19, 21: Red Cross blood drives will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Greater NY Red Cross building located at 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today. 
  • May 17: The American Red Cross Young Patrons are hosting an “Evening Under the Stars,” a summer rooftop networking soiree. You can find out more and buy tickets here
  • May 19: We will partner with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) and FDNY Foundation to help "Sound the Alarm" by installing free smoke alarms in Queens. Learn more by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Volunteer Profile: Michael Heyert


The #Lucky 13 installed nearly 400 smoke alarms in one day in Nyack!
Michael is fifth from right in rear row.
Michael Heyert is the Volunteer Lead for the Home Fire Campaign at the Metro New York North Red Cross Chapter. He works closely with Maritza Espinoza, Disaster Program Manager, and John Cascone, Sr. Disaster Program Manager.

Located in Greenwich, CT, the Metro North Chapter serves 1.8 million people in Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester Counties as well as the towen of Greenwich, CT.

Michael has been volunteering with the Red Cross since 2014, working in Logistics where he helped maintain the necessary program inventory, and transported equipment, supplies and team members to installation sites. Last August, he became Volunteer Lead for the Home Fire Campaign. As Volunteer Lead, he oversees a team of about 50 volunteers whom he can call upon to canvas neighborhoods and obtain requests for smoke alarm installations, install smoke alarms and provide fire prevention information to residents.

Says Michael, “Equally as important as the actual installation of smoke alarms is the preventative function we provide by teaching residents how to prevent fires in the first place. We put a lot of emphasis on the importance of education.”

Michael has been deployed twice, once to flooding in Louisiana in 2016 when he drove an ERV to the Baton Rouge area and served as a Shelter Manager for two weeks. He was also deployed to Houston last year after Hurricane Harvey.

Recently, Michael oversaw a team of 13 volunteers (dubbed the #Lucky 13) in Nyack, N.Y., where they installed nearly 400 smoke alarms in 190 apartments in one day!

“Volunteering for the Red Cross Home Fire Prevention Campaign is a great feeling! Not only are you likely to save lives but it’s fun working as part of a dedicated team,” said Michael. “If you are thinking of volunteering, do it! Don’t be leery! It’s not complicated or hard work. And you’ll feel great doing something meaningful to help your neighbors.”

Thanks, Michael, for all you’ve done and continue to do to save lives from home fires.

Join us this Spring to Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. and help #EndHomeFires.

New Volunteers: Visit SoundtheAlarm.org to sign up today!

Existing Volunteers: Sign up on Volunteer Connection!

Red Cross Relief in Far Rockaway


by Beatrice Velline, American Red Cross in Greater NY


One Monday earlier this year, Queens resident Tico Flores awoke to popping noises. At first unable to place their source, he soon saw smoke entering his second floor room and knew his home was on fire. Thankfully, he was able to exit his building uninjured, but once outside he watched, powerless, as his Far Rockaway home was consumed by flames. The fire department soon arrived and put out the blaze, but the house was left beyond repair. 

“I was thinking, 'where am I going to go?'” said Flores of his initial thoughts standing in front of his burned-out home. This anxiety was quelled a bit as volunteers from the American Red Cross in Greater New York approached him to offer some relief. As part of their assistance, they put up Flores and some of his neighbors in a hotel for a few nights. 

“If the Red Cross wasn’t there," he said, "I don’t know where I would have resided.”

Along with temporary shelter, Red Cross teams also provided him with a debit card with some emergency funds, they helped plan out his recovery and they referred him to city agencies for additional relief. 

"I had opportunities to sit down and figure out a game plan," he said, "and of course there was some money too. I had money in my pocket just in case anything popped up.”

Although he lost his home, Flores remains positive: “At the end of the day when you fall down, you’ve gotta pick yourself back up. If you get knocked down eight times you’ve gotta pick yourself up nine."

“Everybody pulled through, they did what they were trained to do,” he said of those who helped him. “Thank God for the Red Cross.”

Volunteer Profile: Jennifer Pearsall Helps 'Sound the Alarm' to #EndHomeFires

by Stan Frank, American Red Cross in Greater NY

Jennifer Pearsall is the lead training volunteer.
Over these past few weeks, the American Red Cross initiated its most ambitious national fire safety campaign ever: Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. This initiative took place between April 28 and May 13, 2018. During this time, Red Cross volunteers and partners installed, free of charge, more than 100,000 smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods throughout the country.

We recently chatted with a number of Red Cross volunteers to learn about their experiences. Here’s what Jennifer Pearsall said about her volunteering with the Home Fire Campaign: 

What motivated you initially to become a Red Cross volunteer with the Home Fire Campaign?

I loved the Home Fire Prevention Campaign because it is a “hand up” program and not just a “hand out” program. Most importantly, in addition to installing alarms, we educate and inform people. We teach them skills that may save lives while we serve and improve our communities.

What kind of volunteering have you done with the Home Fire Campaign?

In the Greater New York Region, I am the volunteer training ead for the "Sound the Alarm' program. I’ve also helped with staffing, been a team lead, gone out as an educator, documenter, and installer. Back home (American Red Cross serving Oklahoma and Arkansas) I was the Pillowcase Project Lead and helped educate over 30,000 kids in a year and provided feedback for what is now the current version of the program.

Can you give an example of a satisfying experience you had while volunteering with the Home Fire Campaign?

Honestly? The Red Cross has really connected me to my community and my fellow volunteers and staff. I started in Greater New York as soon as I could. I moved here knowing not a soul and having never even visited this state! The Red Cross provided me with the opportunity to be a part of what is now my community.

What would you say to someone thinking of volunteering with the Home Fire Campaign?

If you like the mission, then there is a spot for you. We offer opportunities in the field working directly with clients, other opportunities behind the scenes in support functions, and additional opportunities in data entry positions. Do you like having a set time to help? Prefer to come in each week? Whatever your activity and time commitment, we have something for everyone.

Thanks Jennifer for sharing your experience! 

Join us this Spring to Sound the Alarm and help #EndHomeFires!

Visit SoundTheAlarm.org or Volunteer Connection (existing Red Cross volunteers) to learn more and sign up today!

Monday, May 7, 2018

In Case You Missed It - May 7

"Today is extra special to me because 8 years ago my mother and I lost our
home to a home fire right here in Mt. Vernon, NY." -Greg Itis on Instagram
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided services to 2098 adults and 597 children following 50 disasters/events. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (see below)

Last Week in Review 
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
  • If you’re a mission-focused undergraduate or graduate college student seeking a meaningful internship experience, then apply to our Red Cross program—a rare opportunity to explore and enrich your future career prospects while serving others. Apply here: http://bit.ly/2x9lnqV
  • May 8, 11, 14: Red Cross blood drives will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Greater NY Red Cross building located at 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • May 11, 12: Major “Sound the Alarm” fire safety smoke alarm installation events are coming to Long Island and Brooklyn on May 11 and 12 and we need your help to install free smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods and to educate families on preparing for fires. Sign up by calling 877-733-2767 or by visiting soundthealarm.org/nyc for NYC and soundthealarm.org/li for Long Island. 
  • May 10: We invite you to the "Women Who Lead" luncheon panel where you'll get to meet the staff and volunteers of the Red Cross and hear from influential women who are changemakers in their field. For more information on the panelists and to purchase tickets, click here
  • May 17: The American Red Cross Young Patrons are hosting an “Evening Under the Stars,” a summer rooftop networking soiree. You can find out more and buy tickets here.

Monday, April 30, 2018

In Case You Missed It - April 30

Superstar Red Cross volunteers joined us last weekend in our quest to Sound the Alarm and #EndHomeFires by installing free smoke alarms and teaching fire preparedness. Were you there?

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 400 adults and 113 children following 48 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (see below)

Last Week in Review
  • On Friday we hosted an interactive panel discussion with our two heroes of the Las Vegas shooting: Winston and Ghaed. Alec Cecil, one of our American Red Cross Mental Health volunteers, also joined in. The discussion, moderated by our CEO Josh Lockwood, centered on coping, recovering, and the process of healing – with each panelist bringing their own personal experience from the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas. FOX5 covered the event
  • Also on Friday, the Long Island Red Cross hosted the 2018 Patron Party to recognize this year’s Heroes Among Us Gala honorees, heroes, volunteers, and to thank our amazing sponsors.
  • On Wednesday, we got together with the International Service Department to have a discussion about the services they provide that most people don’t really know about! Check it out here.
  • Also on Wednesday, our inspirational volunteers Mia Hubbert and Lori Nantista Galen set out in Sullivan County to help teach others how to be #RedCrossReady in case of an emergency. Great work ladies!
  • The Spring All Hands Meeting took place on Wednesday at the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. Not only did we have a productive meeting, but we made a lot of furry friends too!
  • Red Cross Corps set out to educate over 525 youths on Tuesday. While their voices might be exhausted, it was a job well done!

Upcoming Events and Opportunities
  • If you’re a mission-focused undergraduate or graduate college student seeking a meaningful internship experience, then apply to our Red Cross program—a rare opportunity to explore and enrich your future career prospects while serving others. Apply here: http://bit.ly/2x9lnqV
  • May 1, 4, 7: Red Cross blood drives will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Greater NY Red Cross building located at 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • May 1: The Red Cross is holding a panel discussion between experts in humanitarian and global affairs about the many “silent” disasters that occur and the humanitarian implications of their lack of visibility. RSVP for the free panel here
  • May 6, 12: Major “Sound the Alarm” fire safety smoke alarm installation events are coming to Brooklyn on May 6 and 12 and we need your help to install free smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods and to educate families on preparing for fires. Sign up by calling 877-733-2767 or by visiting www.soundthealarm.org/nyc
  • May 10: We invite you to the "Women Who Lead" luncheon panel where you'll get to meet the staff and volunteers of the Red Cross and hear from influential women who are changemakers in their field. For more information on the panelists and to purchase tickets, click here.
  • May 17: The American Red Cross Young Patrons are hosting an “Evening Under the Stars,” a summer rooftop networking soiree. You can find out more and buy tickets here

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In Case You Missed It - April 24

CEO Josh Lockwood caught up with a former displaced resident that the Red Cross helped last year. Now,this cute pup is in training to be a Red Cross Therapy dog! Talk about paying it forward!

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 117 adults and 41 children following 45 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities. (see below)

Last Week in Review
  • On Sunday, rock star Red Crosser Matthew Jedwab held his first “Helping Through Hoops” charity basketball tournament to raise money (and exceeded his goal, might we add) for our “Sound the Alarm” campaign. Thanks for all your help Matthew!
  • Our third annual Disaster Ready Summit took place this weekend where Red Cross volunteers and employees had the opportunity to broaden their skill sets and become #RedCrossReady. Check out some social media highlights:
    • Assemblyman Richard Gottfried stopped by to swear in and administer a pledge to our amazing class of AmeriCorps members.
    • Red Crosser Celia Vollmer taught a seminar all about feeding fundamentals.
    • Another Red Crosser, Matthew Hurst, moderated a panel, about the effective use of social media during disasters. The panel also featured the Red Cross’ social media team as well as Allison Pennisi, from the NYC Emergency Management Department.
    • Volunteer Jennifer Pearsallwas also on deck and conducted a presentation on the most effective way to deploy – teaching everyone the how to’s they need to know!
  • Lohud, covered an apartment fire that broke out on Friday evening that displaced multiple residents in Chestnut Ridge. The Red Cross was on the scene to help these displaced residents throughout the night.
  • This past Thursday, Red Cross Hero Lori-Ann Spaccarelli-Pizzarelli was honored with a Woman of Distinction Award from Assemblywoman Christine Pelligrino for her contributions as the Home Fire Preparedness Lead for Long Island. It’s because of extraordinary people like Lori-Ann that the Red Cross can help those in need. Big congratulations to Lori-Ann!
  • Animal Rescue organization Big Paws Crossed, thanked the Red Cross earlier this month for the donations from Red Crossers like you! 
  • On Monday, CEO Josh Lockwood found a nice surprise! Bumping into a man and a dog that Lockwood helped during a home fire in December 2017. Lockwood found out the resident’s dog will be finishing training to be a Red Cross therapy dog. Paying it forward!
  • The kickoff for our huge “Sound The Alarm” campaign is only a few days away and so many people have teamed up with us to #EndHomeFires. Last week we featured a few more of our partners: Councilmember Dr. Mathieu Eugene, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Councilmember Ritchie Torres, and Councilmember Vanessa L. Gibson.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities
  • If you’re a mission-focused undergraduate or graduate college student seeking a meaningful internship experience, then apply to our Red Cross Program—a rare opportunity to explore and enrich your future career prospects while serving others. Apply here: http://bit.ly/2x9lnqV
  • April 25, 26, 28, 30: Red Cross blood drives will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Greater NY Red Cross building located at 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • April 27: Prior to the Red and White Ball, we will be holding a panel discussion with hero honorees Taylor Winston and Shiva Ghaed who were both in attendance at the tragic Las Vegas mass shooting that occurred at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on October 1, 2017. Both have been instrumental in the rescue and recovery of the concertgoers as they put their lives back together after the traumatic event. Stay tuned for more details.
  • April 28: The Red and White Ball is the major source of funding for the American Red Cross in Greater New York. The Ball will feature live and silent auctions; wine and food; and music and dancing. Please join us for this black tie event
  • April 28, May 6, 12: Major “Sound the Alarm” fire safety smoke alarm installation events are coming to the Bronx on April 28 and in Brooklyn on May 6 and 12 and we need your help to install free smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods and to educate families on preparing for fires. Sign up by calling 877-733-2767 or by visiting www.soundthealarm.org/nyc
  • May 1: The Red Cross is holding a panel discussion between experts in humanitarian and global affairs about the many “silent” disasters that occur and the humanitarian implications of their lack of visibility. RSVP for the free panel here
  • May 17: The American Red Cross Young Patrons are hosting an “Evening Under the Stars,” a summer rooftop networking soiree. You can find out more and buy tickets here
There was an error in this gadget