Monday, August 24, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Aug 24

7-year old Bronx resident and emergency preparedness pro Ilene Fuller. (Photos: Michael De Vulpillieres)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 65 adults and 36 children following 33 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
  • Aug 26, 28: Red Cross blood drives; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Aug 27: NYC OEM will be kicking off Preparedness Month with a community fair at 165 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn NY 11201. The Red Cross will be on hand to distribute preparedness information.
  • Aug 29: On Sunday, the Pillowcase Project, a Red Cross children’s preparedness program, takes center stage with presentations in Staten Island (New York City), Mineola (Long Island) and Jeffersonville (Metro New York North).
  • Sep 9: The Voices of September 11 is holding a Resiliency Symposium for mental health professionals and researchers/clinicians in the fields of trauma/bereavement, as well as 9/11 families, responders and survivors.
  • Sep 18 and 25: The American Red Cross, in partnership with the Manhattan VA, is offering two "Resume Writing and Job Skills Training" sessions to assist military veterans looking for employment. Both sessions will run from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM. The sessions will be held at the VA Manhattan campus, the deadline to register is August 28.

Monday, August 17, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Aug 17

Long Island Red Crossers respond to small plane crash in Bethpage. (Photo: Bruce Gronich/Facebook)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 66 adults and 25 children following 35 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, August 12, 2015

Moving forward in Carrefour-Feuilles, Haiti

By Michael de Vulpillieres, Communications Officer, American Red Cross Greater NY Region


Home on the edge of Campeche with repairs/improvements--new roof, 
repaired walls and additional room--funded by the
American Red Cross.
Building supplies and construction equipment lined a newly-built road as I approached Campeche, one of the eight neighborhoods that comprises the community of Carrefour-Feuilles in western Port-au-Prince. It was about 7 a.m. and I was to spend the next few hours visiting one of the areas of the capital city most impacted by the 2010 earthquake.

Drainage system, retaining walls, foot path and reinforced wall/roof.
All funded by the American Red Cross.

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My tour began in the narrow walkways of Campeche, accompanied my local colleagues proudly donning their Red Cross shirts. Area residents waved and smiled at us as my guides showed me around, pointing out countless projects along the way made possible by the American Red Cross and the partners we fund—retaining walls, latrines, repaired homes, foot paths, drainage systems, bridges, water points, schools and street lamps, just to name a few. Along with this work, my colleagues also indicated where new constriction financed by the American Red Cross—a health center, public squares, a soccer field, marketplaces and more water points—will soon break ground.

This infrastructure is critical in establishing a more functional and resilient community, in part because this poor area of Port-au-Prince was in desperate need of it even before the quake. Less than 40 years ago, this hill flanked by two steep ravines was sparsely populated. But the 1970s and 80s saw the population in Campeche and other parts of Carrefour-Feuilles skyrocket with a large influx of relatively poor residents moving here and building mostly makeshift homes. A fragile infrastructure barely followed suit and the zone quickly became one of the most densely populated and disaster-prone areas of Port-au-Prince.

So when the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck on January 12, 2010, Campeche along with the rest of Carrefour-Feuilles was devastated. That’s why the American Red Cross and other groups designated this area as a priority zone for infrastructure and other community revitalization projects.

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Today, local residents are leading the rebuilding effort here, with the help of organizations like the American Red Cross. The impact of such community improvement projects is obvious, but beneath the surface, beyond the bricks and mortar, Red Cross-funded youth, community preparedness, health and livelihoods programs are leaving their mark as well.

I spent the remainder of my morning with Achile, the manager of American Red Cross livelihoods programs in Carrefour-Feuilles. For two hours, he introduced me to half a dozen recipients of small business financing programs and village savings and loan associations (VSLA) made possible with American Red Cross support.

Achile, the manager of American Red Cross livelihoods programs in
Carrefour-
Feuilles, talks to 2 members of a village savings and loan
associatio
n made possible with American Red Cross support.

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One of the individuals I met was Jeanneus Verdier, who joined a VSLA group in Campeche a year ago. As part of the group, neighbors pool their money over a nine month period and during this process provide loans to fellow members when needed for a small fee. Red Cross-funded partners empowered these groups with the training and other tools to make this lending possible. Verdier runs a local school and has used the money from two different loans to purchase cement for school repairs. He told me that without the loans, these improvements would not have been made. Verdier has since renewed his participation in the program.

Frantz Volma (right), beneficiary of small business financing made
possible by the American Red Cross, stands alongside Red Cross livelihood
manager
 Achile (left). 

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My visit ended around noon, outside of Campeche in Post-au-Prince’s city center. Across a busy street from the national soccer stadium was the La Rencontre Restaurant, owned and operated for the last eight months by a young Campeche resident, Frantz Volma. After losing his job in 2013, Volma turned to an organization financed by the American Red Cross for a small-business loan to open his own restaurant. Today, the restaurant does brisk business; the best-selling item on the menu, “Poulet National,” the national chicken and rice dish of Haiti. As Vomar tells me with sense of relief on his face, “I don’t know where I would be without this loan.”

For more information about the American Red Cross’s ongoing work in Haiti, visit redcross.org/haiti.

This past June, Michael traveled to Port-au-Prince to learn more about Red Cross programs in Haiti and to support the local Red Cross office. For more photos from Michael's visit to Carrefour-Feuilles click here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Aug 10

The American Red Cross Greater New York took a brief break from disasters for a BBQ.

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 57 adults and 36 children following 31 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

Monday, August 3, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Aug 3

Children of military families learn disaster preparedness through Pillowcase Project.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 123 adults and 53 children following 46 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
A photo posted by American Red Cross Greater NY (@redcrossny) on

Monday, July 27, 2015

In Case You Missed It - July 27

Smiling baby at Peekskill Shelter. (Photo: Caroline Sherwin)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 149 adults and 47 children following 49 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

Monday, July 20, 2015

In Case You Missed It - July 20

Long Island Red Cross staff and volunteers installing free smoke alarms at the Sinnecock Nation.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 110 adults and 45 children following 43 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review
Upcoming Events 

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