Monday, May 18, 2015

In Case You Missed It - May 18

Red Crossers assisting passengers at Penn Station after Amtrak derailment.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 221 adults and 42 children following 62 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming events (see below).

Last Week in Review
Upcoming Events

Monday, May 11, 2015

In Case You Missed It - May 11

Briefing meeting with Metro NYN Staff and Volunteers at Disaster Volunteer Institute. (Photo: Caroline Sherwin)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 80 adults and 39 children following 47 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming events (see below).

Last Week in Review
Upcoming Events
  • May 11 & 14: Red Cross blood drive; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • May 12: Employees from Marsh and McLennan will be volunteering to build disaster comfort kits for those affected by local disasters.
  • May 13: The Greater NY Red Cross Young Professionals Committee is partnering with Ivy Connect to host a salon discussion and reception entitled “Leadership Insights from Extraordinary Women."
  • May 15: AOL employees will be taking part in a card-signing and ribbon-making event for service members.
  • May 17: Viacom employees will be supporting our Service to the Armed Forces program by assembling comfort kits for veterans.
  • May 16 & 17: As part of the ongoing Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, Red Cross volunteers (including D.A.R.T. Team Members) and the Tzu Chi Foundation will be in Lower Manhattan and Loch Sheldrake, N.Y. on Saturday and in Brooklyn on Sunday to install free smoke alarms. There will also be upcoming events on May 30 in the Bronx and June 6 in Queens. If you’d like to volunteer for the campaign, sign up on our website by selecting “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Volunteer.” Current volunteers should sign up through “Volunteer Connection."

Q and A with the Italian Red Cross President

On Friday, May 8, 2015, Italian Red Cross president Francesco Rocco visited our Manhattan headquarters to learn more about our work here in Greater NY and to speak to volunteers about the impact of our shared mission. Dr. Rocco was in NYC to meet with UN representatives about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. Below is a short Q and A with Dr. Rocca.

Francesco Rocco (L) alongside Josh Lockwood (R),
Regional CEO, 
Greater NY Red Cross  
Q: What does the New York Red Cross represent to you?

A: This chapter has the capacity to respond to many needs in this complex city. It’s incredible the number of operations you have every day after local emergencies…and taking care of families and providing assistance. Of course I was impressed by the huge activity you made after Sandy. This chapter in particular gives a strong meaning to the word resiliency, the capacity of the community to respond. This is something that impressed me a lot.

Q: What is the common thread between Red Cross/Red Crescent volunteers in Italy, Syria, Nepal and New York?

A: The first principle: humanity. We put the human being at the center of our action, the center of our mind and work, so we share this responsibility which unites us all in this universal mission. All around the world, and I visit a lot of nations, we always see the same commitment to be close to the most vulnerable and those most in need. So this is something that unites all of us.

Q: Do you have a message for Red Cross volunteers in Greater NY?

A: Me and my colleagues in the Italian Red Cross think the New York Red Cross chapter is a model on how to organize the services locally. I especially want to recognize the emergency response efforts, and I want to say how proud we are as a movement about the work carried out by this chapter!

To learn more about the Italian Red Cross response to the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, click here.

Friday, May 8, 2015

13 Things You Did Not Know About the Red Cross in NYC and Beyond

By Mathew Hurst and Catherine Kinney

"You mean there's more to the Red Cross than just hurricanes and blood drives?"

As such a globally-recognized symbol, the Red Cross can mean many different things to many different people. Given the broad scope of our humanitarian mission, we wanted to share a few facts that you may not have known about the work of the Red Cross here in NYC, across the country and around the world.

1.  The Red Cross is the largest humanitarian network in the world.



The American Red Cross is part of a global Red Cross network comprised of more than 10 million volunteers working in nearly 190 countries around the world! The nature of the day-to-day work may vary but the guiding humanitarian mission and principles remain the same.


2.   Every year the President of the United States proclaims March as Red Cross Month.




In a tradition which dates back to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943, every year at the beginning of March, the Commander-in-Chief declares March as Red Cross Month. On March 2 of this year, President Obama proclaimed,


Their service has meant so much to so many, and it reflects a fundamental American truth: we look out for one another and we do not leave anyone behind. This month, we renew our sense of common purpose and honor all those whose sacrifices have made our society more prepared, resilient, and united.”

3. The Red Cross aided those who survived the sinking of the Titanic.




When passengers arrived in New York harbor following the sinking of the Titanic, the Red Cross was there in 1914 to help those who survived one of history’s deadliest maritime disasters. Red Cross also offered assistance to families who lost loved ones when the Titanic went down. Here’s one family’s story.


4.  90% of the disasters the American Red Cross responds to are home fires.




When many people think of the Red Cross, our relief efforts following natural disasters usually come to mind first. But the Red Cross provides more assistance following home fires than after any other disaster. With nearly 2000 responses to home fires every year in this region, Greater NY is the busiest in region in the country for the American Red Cross. Make sure you are prepared for a home fire by checking out our Home Fire Safety and Prevention tips.

5.  In the movie Ghostbusters, the Red Cross was at the ready to assist those affected by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

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Even the Ghostbusters need a little help now and then. You might have missed our cameo, but the Red Cross was there to offer comfort and care to Louis Tully and all affected by the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, just like we do outside the silver screen.

Just remember: When you need help in an emergency “who you gonna call?” should still be 911, and right behind first responders you can expect to see a helping hand from one of our Red Cross volunteers.

6.  The Red Cross can help you prepare for Godzilla and Sharknado.


Being a Red Cross volunteer means being prepared and helping others prepare, even for disasters as unlikely as Godzilla and Sharknado. Previous Red Cross blog posts have helped get residents ready for both.

We recommended having flashlights, batteries, food, water, and maps in case of these emergencies and a safe place to meet your family in case you are split up. Our Red Cross Emergency App is another great resource to prepare for the unexpected.

7.  There are THREE symbols that represent the Red Cross Network Globally.


Along with the Red Cross symbol, did you know the two other symbols used by our global network? The Red Crescent was formally recognized in 1929 and today is used by 33 of the 189 recognized societies worldwide. The Red Crystal is another neutral symbol of the Red Cross, formally recognized in 2005.

8.  During the Northeast Blackout of 2003, the Red Cross responded to more than 70 fires.


The Northeastern blackout, the world’s second-most widespread blackout, affected about 45 million people in eight U.S. states. While Red Cross response teams were out helping stranded commuters, volunteers were also providing assistance following more than 70 home fires. To put things in perspective, on average, the Greater NY Red Cross responds to seven local emergencies every day. Why so many fires in a short period of time? Unsafe use of candles was one reason. Click here for Red Cross Tips on coping with power outages.

9.  The American Red Cross accepts vehicle donations.



The Red Cross doesn't only accept money, we are able to receive vehicle donations as well. As a donor, the program provides a cost-free way to dispose of your unwanted vehicle while getting a tax deduction. Donating your vehicle is another great way to help us help others.

10. The International Red Cross has won 4 Nobel Peace Prizes.



Henri Dunant, founder of the International Red Cross, was the co-recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize in 1901 for his humanitarian work. Since then, the Red Cross has won the honor three other times: 1917, 1944 and 1963.

11. Red Cross is a part of the United Nations.



The global Red Cross network is represented at the United Nations. Two branches of the Red Cross--the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)--advocate for our humanitarian principles on the world’s largest stage, right here in NYC. Click here to learn more about their work at the UN.

12. Volunteers constitute 90% of the total workforce of the American Red Cross.


Red Cross volunteers fulfill many roles, from providing assistance following home fires,to teaching CPR, to installing free smoke alarms, to coordinating blood drives,to serving as board members and so much more. Since we are dependent on our volunteer force to carry out most of our humanitarian work, volunteers enable us to carry out our mission in NYC and beyond. Across the organization, the Red Cross has an average of 14 volunteers to every employee.

If you’re passionate about helping people and looking to volunteer with a visionary humanitarian organization, you can make a difference with the Red Cross by becoming a volunteer today.

13. Every 60 seconds in the US, 44 people turn to the American Red Cross for comfort, care and hope.


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To learn more about the Red Cross mission and how you can join us, visit www.redcross.org.

Note: Yes, we realize that Rick Moranis appeared twice in this blog post. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

In Case You Missed It - May 4

Mayor De Blasio greets Red Cross Volunteers at FDNY celebratory
150th anniversary open-house. (Photo: Marko Kokic)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 92 adults and 26 children following 61 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming events (see below).

Last Week in Review


On the 150th Anniversary celebration of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), Commissioner Daniel Nigro thanked Red Cross volunteers for their ongoing support at fires and in helping to promote fire safety.
Posted by American Red Cross in Greater New York on Monday, May 4, 2015
Upcoming Events
  • May 7: In Hauppauge (Long Island), we will be training 50 members of the Carpenters Union to be Red Cross Disaster Services volunteers. Thanks to our board member William Macchione for making this possible.
  • May 7 & 8: Red Cross blood drive; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • May 9: Red Cross Metro New York North is holding an extensive one-day Disaster Volunteer Institute in Mt. Vernon to help jump start the participation of prospective volunteers. Register today and share this teaser video

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.  









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