Tuesday, March 21, 2017

In Case You Missed It - Mar 20

Red Crossers celebrating Red Cross Month with Empire State Building lighting.
(Photo: Steven Thorne / American Red Cross)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 178 adults and 33 children following 59 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
  • Mar 21, 23, 27: Red Cross blood drive: 2 to 7pm: 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Mar 23: Please join us at the American Red Cross for a panel discussion, HEALTH CARE IN DANGER - Violence Against Medical Assistance in Armed Conflict, featuring a distinguished group of panelists. This event is part of an international public awareness campaign which had been spearheaded by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2011. The committee works to address this violence and ensure safe access and delivery of health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. RSVP here today
  • Mar 25: On this Saturday, the Red Cross will be holding our "Share the Red" Open-House. Everyone is welcome to attend this event to celebrate Red Cross Month and to learn more about how you can become a volunteer. RSVP today
  • Mar 31-Apr 2: The American Red Cross of Greater New York is hosting the second annual Disaster Ready Summit! Learn more about the courses and sign up here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

In Case You Missed It - Mar 13

Long Island Red Cross Volunteers recognized for their excellence. (Photo: Catherine de Silva)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 174 adults and 42 children following 57 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, March 7, 2017

In Case You Missed It - Mar 7

 Award recipients at American Red Cross Metro New York North Volunteer Recognition Ceremony
(Photo: Steven Colon / American Red Cross)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 141 adults and 59 children following 41 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
  • Mar 7, 8, 10: Red Cross blood drive: 2 to 7pm: 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Mar 11: Long Island Red Cross chapter will be holding its annual Volunteer Recognition Event at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, NY.
  • Mar 23: Please join us at the American Red Cross for a panel discussion, HEALTH CARE IN DANGER - Violence Against Medical Assistance in Armed Conflict, featuring a distinguished group of panelists. This event is part of an international public awareness campaign spearheaded by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2011 to address this violence and ensure safe access to and delivery of health care in armed conflict and other emergencies. RSVP here today.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Finding Strength After Harlem Fire

by Michael de Vulpillieres, American Red Cross


“Here is where I had some of my artwork hanging,” recalls Danese Smalls as she showed me around her home, pointing at the bare wall studs where her paintings stood before the blaze. “I’m an artist and designer, so a lot of what was in the apartment were things I had created over the years,” she said with an air of sadness, “like my paintings and my jewelry.”

Smalls was visiting her gutted apartment where two months earlier fire took everything, including countless items with deep sentimental value and her cherished cat Wisdom.

“Losing Wisdom,” she said, her voice breaking up, “was like losing a child.”

Smalls had lived in this West Harlem building for more than 20 years but on November 22, 2016 the once vibrant apartment and workspace were reduced to “black soot” and rubble. That afternoon, as Smalls returned home from doing laundry in her basement, she heard her neighbor screaming, “fire!”

“I couldn’t believe it. There were huge orange flames, from the floor to the ceiling, thick black smoke,” Smalls said. “My first reaction was that I had to get Wisdom out of there.’”

Smalls was attempting to enter her apartment to save her cat when firefighters arrived and informed her that it was not safe where she was. She was directed to a community room downstairs where she anxiously and frantically awaited news. It was shortly after learning of Wisdom’s fate that she was approached by two individuals from the Red Cross.

“I was overcome with grief; I just felt so horrible,” she remembered. “When you experience something as devastating as this you need the right people around. And they [Red Cross], were the right people. They were special people, like angels.”

The Red Cross team met and waited with Smalls for hours as she began to process the loss. They reassured and comforted her, calmly discussed the next steps, offered her a few nights at a hotel and gave her some money for basic necessities.

“The cash on the gift card was so important because I had nothing,” exclaimed Smalls. “What’s so amazing to me about the Red Cross is the compassion, the patience and the care that they provided. And I found out that they were volunteers.”

Smalls was particularly touched to know that one of the volunteers began working with the Red Cross right after 9/11.

Two months after this life-changing event, Smalls is living with a friend until she is able to return home. When I met up with her, she was checking on the status of the repairs to her apartment. She said this most recent visit reassured her.

“It’s coming together,” said Smalls with a smile as she navigated her way around power tools and sheet rock. “It’s good to see the progress.”

Smalls recognizes that she has not fully recovered, yet she makes a point to tell me about all the great people in her life who have helped her move forward.

“I’m still recovering spiritually and psychologically from the trauma but I’m surrounded by people who really love and care for me. And I still have the support from the Red Cross.”



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

In Case You Missed It - Feb 27

Families of service members build comfort kits for their loved ones and other veterans.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 182 adults and 66 children following 50 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, 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.
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