Monday, December 22, 2014
|Red Cross responds to a 5-Alarm fire in Ozone Park (Queens).|
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 184 adults and 56 children following 55 local disasters. Here are some highlights of responses and activities from the last week.
Last Week in Review
- On December 18, a 5-Alarm fire tore through an apartment building in Ozone Park (Queens). Working with city agencies, the Red Cross setup a relief center at P.S. 65 and provided financial and emotional support to two dozen families displaced. Of those families, 11 were provided emergency housing.
- Last Friday, Red Cross Club Youth volunteers held their annual fundraising movie night. They screened the Holiday classic, Santa Clause, and raised money to benefit the Red Cross.
- The Long Island chapter of the Red Cross welcomed a new board member, Butch Yamali.
- The staff and volunteers of the Greater NY Red Cross would like to wish you "Happy Holidays!" (to the tune of Taylor Swift's Shake It Off).
Monday, December 15, 2014
|Residents of North Amityville motel provided with Red Cross blankets and services after they evacuated from a fire.|
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 119 adults and 34 children following 61 local disasters.
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW
- Following a fatal fire at a motel in North Amityville (Suffolk County) last Saturday, the Red Cross was able to provide residents with food, financial assistance, emergency shelter and emotional support.
- Saturday, Astoria (Queens) residents awoke to flooded basements after a water mainbreak. Red Cross volunteers spent the day on scene providing emergency assistance to displaced families and distributing more than 40 flood clean-up kits.
- Early Friday morning, a 4-Alarm fire broke out in a East New York (Brooklyn) apartment building. Residents left homeless by the blaze turned to the Red Cross for emergency assistance.
- Through out the week, Red Cross Disaster Logistics teams continued to transfer supplies to newly purchased trailers that are pre-positioned in the event of large-scale disasters like Superstorm Sandy.
- Metro New York North Red Cross responded to a rash of fires, providing emergency assistance to families in Middletown, New City, Salisbury Mills and Haverstraw.
- Tonight, the Red Cross will partner with the NY Islanders in support of our mission. You can still purchase discounted tickets to the final Red Cross Charity Night at Nassau Coliseum. Blood Drive on December 20th from 9am to 3pm at the Nassau Coliseum where all presenting donors will receive a voucher for two tickets to an Islanders home game during the 2014-15 regular season and a chance to win autographed Islanders memorabilia and more! Walk-ins are welcome, or to schedule an appointment to donate call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org. Reference sponsor code ISLANDERS.
- This Friday, Youth Services/Red Cross Clubs will be holding their annual fundraising movie night. This year’s screening will be the holiday classic “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen. Showtime starts at 5pm at the GNY Chapter 520 W 49th Street. Popcorn and drinks will be sold. RSVP via email at Amanda.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
|Three young NY girls pose for a photo at our annual Winter Wonderland holiday event.|
- On Monday, December 15, the NY Islanders will be playing to benefit the Red Cross. Find discounted tickets at: www.newyorkislanders.com/redcrosstickets
WEEK IN REVIEW
- Winter Wonderland, our annual event for children affected by local disasters disasters, took place last Saturday in Times Square’s Hard Rock Café!
- Last weekend, Greenwich Hospital and Jefferson Valley Mall hosted Holiday Mail for Heroes card-writing events.
- On Friday, during our Staff meeting, the Greater NY Red Cross Client Services Team was recognized for their tireless efforts providing services to residents affected by disasters every day.
- Young volunteers from Red Cross Youth Clubs learned about disaster preparedness during their Zombie Apocalypse party held on Dec. 5.
- Early last week, we shared the video of Carmen Allende, who in late November turned to the Red Cross after a fire destroyed her Bronx home.
- Right after #GivingTuesday, we said THANK YOU to all those donors and volunteers who constantly support our cause.
- During #GivingTuesday, the Red Cross and Bitly partnered to launch Hopely, a new tool to promote Red Cross services and encourage online donations.
|The Jefferson Valley Mall Holiday Mail for Heroes card-writing event.|
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
- On Dec. 2 for #GivingTuesday, we encourage you to donate to our cause and give something that means something.
- On Dec. 1, the volunteers in our logistics team shared pictures of the trucks used for their fleet activities.
- For Black Friday on Nov. 28, we encouraged our supporters to check our Holiday Gift Catalog.
- Our volunteers, always eager to help, responded to a fire at a Senior Apartment Complex on Thanksgiving eve, Nov. 27, at Peekskill, New York, which displaced four individuals.
- Thanksgiving was the occasion to thank all of you who make our mission possible.
- Right before Thanksgiving, we shared some tips for safe traveling.
- Have you ever thought of the comfort that a single blanket brings to a person? Early last week, one of our volunteers, Ronnie G. Rigos, appeared on a Red Cross blanket PSA.
- The Red Cross was on scene to help during a 3-alarm fire in Harlem on Nov. 25.
- Early last week, on Nov. 24, DART Team members transport supplies to Buffalo due to the snowstorm.
Monday, November 24, 2014
|Long-time mass care volunteer Jessica Powers was the first of three Red Crossers from our region to deploy to the Buffalo area following last week's record-breaking snowfall.|
- On Saturday, November 22, dozens turned to the Red Cross following 4-alarm fire that tore through several row houses in Brooklyn. Thanks to all who supported the response!
- Late Friday, three of our Greater New York volunteers were deployed to Buffalo to respond to the record-breaking winter storms. You can wish them well on our Facebook page.
- Late last week, we shared the story of a Brooklyn mom who will become a Red Cross volunteer after surviving a home fire.
- Red Cross Staff and Volunteers continued to transfer emergency supplies to newly purchased trailers and assess their their ability to off load these supplies during an large-scale emergency response operation.
- Recently, Rick Stein, our Red Cross Ambassador for the Governor's Preparedness Initiative took his show on the road to Iona College and our Westchester Girl Scout Troop 2897, based in Ardsley. Thanks Fred Stein and his wife Nancy Stein, they helped to bring our ABC's of Preparedness to life and a great time was had by all!
- Also out in Metro New York, on November 19, Port Chester Police have requested Red Cross assistance following a fire that has displaced four adults and three children. Our MNYN Volunteers setup a temporary reception center for families and provided emergency assistance.
- Mid week, the National Red Cross published a study that shows the impact that you can make this holiday season through social media.
- We also shared the Red Cross story of Lauren Lebowitz, who sang last month at our annual Red Tie Affair Gala. The Red Cross was able to help her family learn more about what to missing family members during the Holocaust.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
|Queens Coalition volunteers prepare to canvass the |
Hamilton Beach community following a briefing at
the headquarters of the West Hamilton Beach Volunteer
Fire & Ambulance Corps.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Every member of Team Red Cross, which included runners from New York City, Florida, Missouri, Louisiana, and even Hong Kong, ran the 26.2 mile race as a Red Cross ambassador, one who pledged to raise or donate funds in support of the Red Cross’s vital lifesaving mission of helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The total raised thus far is nearly $90,000.
“I’m really excited about the opportunities for people to get to know and get involved with the Red Cross through the Marathon,” Shelton said. “And of course, to help raise funds for its crucial humanitarian work.”
An attorney for the firm of Gibson and Dunn, Shelton, a board member since 2005, has run marathons since 2011, including the Boston Marathon in 2012. Shelton added taht he is inspired by the work the Red Cross does to make the lives of New Yorkers better; from Sandy relief to aid provided after smaller, “everyday” disasters like fires and floods.
While Team Red Cross covered the 26.2 mile course through all five boroughs of New York City, about 150 Red Cross first-aid and CPR-trained volunteers and staff members, wearing Red Cross vests, worked as “spotters” who supported the New York Road Runners (NYRR) medical operations along the marathon route.
See Marathon photos of runners and spotters.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
By Elaine Biller, Greater NY Volunteer
On Sept. 17, 2014 a massive 3-alarm fire raged through a Second Avenue apartment building in Midtown Manhattan. More than 140 firefighters were on hand to quench the blaze. Five Red Cross workers responded to help those affected, including Alexis Schroeder and her roommate.
For Alexis, this was just one more complication in an already complicated life.
She and her roommate, a friend from high school, had moved into their Midtown Manhattan apartment just four weeks earlier. Soon after the move, Alexis was struck by a taxi while jogging after work.
Since then, she’d been on leave from her job, juggling doctor’s appointments to treat a bulging disc in her back. As her pain subsided Alexis was looking forward to returning to her work in marketing in mid-October.
The day of the fire, Alexis was walking home from her bank after clearing up some suspicious activity on a credit card. When she got to her street, she smelled smoke, then saw it billowing from her apartment window. Gripped by fear, Alexis relaxed only when she saw firefighters pull her roommate to safety through the dense black cloud.
The women watched as flames consumed their building. The fire left six apartments unlivable, with the top apartments severely damaged by smoke.
That evening a NYC firefighter and Red Cross volunteer Paul Allwright escorted Alexis and Colleen back to their apartment to retrieve anything they could salvage, especially documents and prescriptions.
Sadly, the apartment was unrecognizable. “There were no floors,” Alexis said. “My bedroom … everything was destroyed. My roommate's room was destroyed as well.”
The women were devastated by the sight and overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin. Paul guided them through those first few hours of shock and numbness.
“We weren't able to think about anything, about what to grab,” Alexis said. “I didn't have any money with me with my whole credit card situation. The Red Cross was there with things you don't even realize you need.”
Paul arranged temporary housing for the women for the days immediately after the fire and provided them with emergency funds for food, and so they could replace some clothing. And he let them know the Red Cross would continue to be there for them in the days that followed; that they were not alone. He explained that Lilliam, their Red Cross caseworker, would continue to support them in numerous ways.
“Everyone's been really great,” Alexis said.
In the months since the fire, the women continue to rebuild their lives. For now they are staying with friends in the city on weekdays and with their families in New Jersey on weekends.
“The Red Cross generously helped us out,” Alexis said. “We really didn't know what type of help was provided by the Red Cross. We couldn't say nicer things about it.”
Friday, October 31, 2014
|Regional CEO Josh Lockwood with Greater New York Board Member and Staten Island resident Robert Coghlan.|
On Tuesday, October 23rd the American Red Cross in Greater New York was presented with the Distinguished Community Service Award by Project Hospitality at its annual Harvest Gala in Staten Island. The event was held at the Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn. Regional CEO Josh Lockwood accepted the award which honored Greater New York for its support to Staten Island in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and for its continued long-term recovery operations.
Red Cross has helped thousands of Staten Island residents with disaster case management, home repairs, mental and physical health support and financial assistance through the Move In Assistance program. Over $3 million has been provided to Staten Island residents through the program. In his remarks, Lockwood thanked Project Hospitality as well as the borough’s elected officials, community groups and faith-based organizations for their partnership to help those in need. He also extended a special thank you to Richard and Lois Nicotra, owners of the Hilton, for their assistance to Red Cross volunteers in the immediate days after Sandy struck. The Nicotras provided sleeping arrangements, showers, food and additional amenities at the hotel to the volunteers at no charge.
|Regional CEO Josh Lockwood accepting the Distinguished Community Service Award from Project Hospitality while Executive Director for Project Hospitality Rev. Terry Troia looks on.|
Thursday, October 30, 2014
The group included the ROK Presidential Secretary, ROK Prime Minister’s Deputy Chief of Staff, several prominent professors and 20 civic leaders.
The group met with Regional CEO Josh Lockwood and Chief Response Officer Kelly McKinney who provided a brief presentation on Greater New York’s operations and provided details on the chapter’s specific responses to the East Harlem explosion in March 2014, Superstorm Sandy and the events of September 11, 2001.
The group was also provided with a tour of the building which included a visit to the Emergency Communications Center (ECC) and Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
|Margarita Sandoval (on the right,) my grandma, when she was a gray lady for the Colombian Red Cross.|
Sadly, my grandma was forced to marry young, at 15, dropping out of school to do so. She had six children with my grandpa; the oldest was my mother, Maritza. When her youngest daughter started high school (my mother was in college in another city), grandma decided to start a whole new journey. She wanted to feel a purpose in her life and she wanted to feel accomplished.
She separated from my grandpa and, in 1974, she joined the Colombian Red Cross. Deeply passionate about helping others, grandma started volunteering as a dama gris or gray lady, providing nursing services across marginalized areas around the country.
My grandma’s eyes brighten every time she tells the stories of her 35 years as a volunteer, travelling and meeting others while she provided hope and health services to those in need, wearing a gray dress.
Whenever I had tantrums at age five, she would give me the best advice I have ever received: “Don’t cry; there’s people suffering out there, yet putting a smile on their faces.”
She told me how she traveled to remote areas to provide free vaccinations to children, how she talked to women with health issues, and how she gave talks about reproductive health. She recently told me about travelling with the Red Cross to provide farmers with food and healthcare after a flood in the small villages that border the Magdalena River.
Based on what I learned about my grandmother’s Red Cross work, I believe that the values of deep neutrality and humanity that characterize the Red Cross allow the organization to impact every person involved in it. It is an organization that promotes and provides aid, irrespective of nationality or any religious or cultural affiliation, which makes it, for me, the most peaceful, inclusive organization in the world.
My grandmother’s Red Cross experience also inspired her to study nursing, after completing her high school studies. In 2001, at age 56, she pursued a nursing degree, while living with my family in Cartagena, the northern Colombian city where I was born. She later worked for a hospital, while still volunteering for the Colombian Red Cross.
It is almost magical, how the story of my grandma connects with mine and how everything she went through and every tear she shed, led me to where I am today. She always taught her daughters—and me—to be independent; to complete our studies so we could excel in life and be autonomous.
That is why my mother, who is the regional CEO of a bank which helps the Colombian petroleum company (Ecopetrol) workers, taught me and my sister those values and was, as well, inspired by my grandma to strive, succeed and help others.
Thanks to the legacy of my grandmother, who currently lives with my mom and dad in Cartagena (I see her every time I visit), I am passionate about serving others.
I am currently studying in the United States, about to attain my bachelor’s degree in communications, and I am interning in the Communications Department of the Greater New York Red Cross, where I write for the chapter's blog and post on their social media. I get to inspire and help others on behalf of one of the most important humanitarian organizations in the world!
I have also volunteered and interned at several other nonprofits, including Operation Smile, UNICEF and DoSomething.org.
I hope other grandmas and granddaughters keep getting inspired to love, thrive, help and succeed, just as my grandma and I did.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
|Dr. David Schonfeld addresses attendees|
On Oct. 18, a total of 90 Red Cross disaster mental health volunteers and members of partner organizations joined Dr. David Schonfeld, a prominent figure in the field of childhood bereavement, at Greater New York Red Cross regional headquarters in Manhattan. Dr. Schonfeld led a best practices conversation about supporting the mental health needs of individuals in the aftermath of a disaster in which a child has perished.
He applauded the passion of the Red Cross volunteers. “They are an incredible resource for those affected by emergencies,” he said. “Their selfless compassion and skills provide relief and comfort during times of unbearable tragedy. It was amazing to see their dedication first hand and to engage with them in a discussion about best practices for supporting those who lose a loved one.”
Diane Ryan, lead specialist, Disaster Mental Health Services for the Greater New York region said that while Red Cross DMH volunteers are themselves licensed practitioners, they were enriched by Dr. Schonfeld’s discussion.
“Our disaster mental health volunteers mobilize quickly whenever there is a loss of a child due to disaster—a fire, flood or other incident,” Ryan said. “They are the compassionate presence for those who are suffering. The presentation today provided additional tools for this challenging work.”
New York Life co-hosted the event.
“New York Life is proud to partner with the Red Cross and its disaster mental health volunteers to provide advanced level training on childhood bereavement,” said Maria Collins, MSW, Vice President, New York Life Foundation. “Today’s discussion supports our vision and awareness raising efforts around childhood bereavement. We couldn’t be more pleased to be here and to take part in such a meaningful dialog.”
In support of our #RedTieHeroes initiative, American Red Cross partner JPMorgan Chase recently reached out to their employees nationwide and asked them to submit stories of heroic coworkers who embody the humanitarian spirit of the Red Cross. Below is one of those stories.
submitted by Denise Edwards, JPMorgan Chase Employee
One morning in May of this year, between 7:00 and 7:30 am, Deborah and another Chase employee were in the deli/cafe getting breakfast. The deli is independently owned and patronized by the companies and employees that utilize the business campus where our offices are located. Another Chase employee came in wearing stiletto heels.
While standing in line and moving along she slipped and fell. When she fell one of her legs landed on top of one of her heels, which punctured her leg, and she began to bleed profusely. No one knew what to do.
Deborah came to the rescue, had her lie down and applied pressure to the puncture, kept it clean and calmly instructed everyone as to what to do.
The deli staff was panicked; the injured employee was going into shock. They called an ambulance and the other Chase employee went outside, flagged it down and directed the paramedics into the deli. They came, took over and transported the injured employee to the hospital.
We often hear of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in this particular case Deborah was in the right place at the right time.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
|Swiss Re Employees rebuilding a Sandy damaged home in Brooklyn.|
Since October 1, the Greater New York Red Cross has responded to 127 emergencies and provided aid to 334 adults and children.
- In advance of our Red Tie Affair, Honoring our Heroes event on Oct. 23, we've been asking people to tell us about their # RedTieHeroes. Read some of their responses.
LAST WEEK IN REVIEW
|Representative Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn with GNY Director of Community Relations Alex Lutz.|
- On Oct. 15, Alex Lutz, Greater NY Red Cross senior director of community relations, met with Rep. Yvette Clarke of Brooklyn, to update her on the chapter’s continuing Superstorm Sandy recovery activities in her district.
- Via the Epoch Times on Oct. 17, Josh Lockwood, Greater NY Red Cross CEO, urged New Yorkers to take measures to prevent home fires.
- On Oct. 17, employees of Diageo and Atlantic Wines and Spirits sorted and created holiday cards for service members at Greater NY HQ. They also presented a check to CEO Josh Lockwood for Red Cross disaster services. See photos.
- Also on Oct. 17, Swiss Re employees helped the Red Cross and Resurrection Brooklyn rebuilt a Sandy damaged home in Sheepshead Bay.
- On October 18, Red Cross volunteers responded to a multi-family fire in Mount Kisco that displaced five individual men and two families, four adults and one child.
- Also on Oct. 18, Dr. David Schonfeld spoke at the Red Cross about child bereavement amid disaster.
- On Oct. 20, Visiting Nurse Service of New York hosted a workshop on coping with stress from Sandy at Rockaway Park. This was the first of a series of Disaster Distress Response Program workshops funded by Sandy donations to the American Red Cross.
- On Oct. 17, Brian Gerber, Nanci Banninger, and Tricia Zale, Metro New York volunteers, helped during a fire in Spring Valley, which displaced two families- eight adults and six children.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Thank you Dad for giving me the gift of an incredible education #redtieheroes— Abigail (@aadams10514) October 16, 2014
A true #redtieheroes was Lou Bonomini, a dedicated Red Cross volunteer who gave it all. Truly an. Inspiration. May you rest in piece Lou!— Yonkers OEM (@YonkersOEM1) October 11, 2014
@PeteMarro for driving a generator down from Maine during Super Storm Sandy. We finally got warm. #redtieheroes— Abigail (@aadams10514) October 9, 2014
Today we honor the memory of Ynks FF Patrick Joyce who answered his last call of duty 5yrs ago.HERO@redtieheroes #redtieheroes— Yonkers OEM (@YonkersOEM1) October 2, 2014