Tuesday, October 27, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Oct 26

The and I are walking the streets of to install free smoke alarms for ! -Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Twitter
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 75 adults and 21 children following 54 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
  • Win a Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Kit by taking the online emergency preparedness training. You’ll be automatically entered to win. This contest is open to residents of New York City, Long Island, Orange, Sullivan, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties. Four winners will be chosen each month (notified via email).
  • Oct 27, 29: Red Cross blood drives; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Oct 29: Calling all interested lawyers, journalists, law students and professionals in international relations: the Greater New York Red Cross will host “Humanity in War” an international humanitarian law workshop where you can familiarize yourself with the laws that govern modern combat, and the role humanitarian groups like ‪the ‬Red Cross play in war zones.‬
  • Nov 1: For the TCS NYC Marathon, the Red Cross will be well represented by several fundraising runners and dozens of volunteer medical spotters.
  • Nov 11: Join the American Red Cross as it marches in America's Parade on Wednesday. The parade kicks off at Madison Park on 26th Street and Fifth Avenue and marches north along Fifth Avenue to 53rd Street. For Red Cross volunteers who wish to march in honor of America's veterans, please email SAFGNY@redcross.org.

Friday, October 23, 2015

A Ride-Along With NY Red Cross Disaster Response Teams

By Silvana Espinoza, Intern, American Red Cross Greater NY Region


In late September of this year I was given the opportunity to go on a "ride-along" with a Disaster Response team. The ride-along gave me a chance to accompany volunteers as they assisted residents affected by local disasters. It was a great learning experience, far more than I could’ve ever imagined. It’s one thing to hear about all the great work that the Red Cross does during a disaster response, but actually being there present and seeing the work firsthand is a completely different experience. I was not only able to learn about the broad scope of the work but I also gained a perspective about the process that goes into disaster response. As a whole, the journey itself gave me a better understanding about what the American Red Cross truly represents.

During my shift I was teamed up with two volunteers, Patty Jones and Arjun Behal, both knowledgeable and passionate about their work at the Red Cross. In the early afternoon, my team and I were called to assist a fire in the Highbridge section of the Bronx.

When we arrived at the scene, I was in shocked to see the condition the apartment was in as I had never witnessed anything similar. I could only imagine the frustration and distress of the owner. Throughout the apartment there was rubbish from the fire and broken glass scattered everywhere from the shattered windows. The kitchen, where the fire had started, was completely destroyed. The apartment was uninhabitable. 

When we asked the owner who lived at the apartment alone if he had a place to stay, he mentioned he did not know where to go. His face portrayed fear and uncertainty of not knowing what the next steps would be. The Red Cross volunteers offered him shelter at a nearby hotel for a few days along with some financial assistance that would help him get back on his feet. 

It was at this moment that I was truly able to comprehend the mission of the Red Cross. I realized that not only does it provide people with shelter, food or emergency funds during these disasters, but most importantly it offers people a sense of hope and optimism when they need it the most. 



Monday, October 19, 2015

In Case You Missed It - Oct 19

The FDNY Disaster Assistance Relief Team in South Carolina with Red Cross helping out after flooding.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 81 adults and 35 children following 43 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review
NY Shakes Exercise

Upcoming Events and Opportunities
  • Win a Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Kit by taking the online emergency preparedness training. You’ll be automatically entered to win. This contest is open to residents of New York City, Long Island, Orange, Sullivan, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties. Four winners will be chosen each month (notified via email).
  • Oct 19, 21, 22: Red Cross blood drives; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Oct 21: For Red Cross volunteers, sign up for one of our Home Fire Safety Academy Level I training. We’ll cover the basics of fire safety education and each of the technician roles needed for our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. This is the best way to get prepared for our October 24th Installation Event. Check out the training calendar and register here!
  • Oct 29: Calling all interested lawyers, journalists, law students and professionals in international relations: the Greater New York Red Cross will host “Humanity in War” an international humanitarian law workshop where you can familiarize yourself with the laws that govern modern combat, and the role humanitarian groups like ‪the ‬Red Cross play in war zones.‬

    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    Honoring Our Heroes: Blake Farber


    On Wednesday October 14, 2015, more than 500 guests will gather at Gotham Hall for our annual Honoring our Heroes Gala.

    The evening celebrates the Red Cross mission, recognizes those who make our mission possible and pays tribute to everyday heroes who have performed extraordinary acts in the face of adversity.

    There are heroes all around us. Today, we share the story of East Village resident Blake Farber. This past March, moments after an explosion rocked an East Village building, Blake came forward to pull a restaurant worker to safety.

    Here is Blake’s story:


    Along for the Ride


    By Peter Belfiore

    As many of you know, Citi Bike has teamed up with the Red Cross to help raise awareness and funds in support of our mission. At the Greater New York Red Cross, few volunteers embody both a dedication for our mission and a love of biking like longtime Red Crosser and avid cyclist Richard Sanford. In that spirit, we recently sat down with him to discuss his two passions and his thoughts on Citi Bike for Good.

    Richard has been a Red Cross volunteer since he was 16. Now retired from a New York City teaching career, he volunteers his time as a Red Cross shelter volunteer as well as a Red Cross instructor. He also runs guided bike tours of the city in not only English, but in Spanish and Italian as well. His dedication as a volunteer and his language skills (he also knows Mandarin) have made him an invaluable member of the Red Cross team.

    Why do you like cycling so much?

    (Biking) is the most efficient way of getting around the city. If you have to go really long distances the subway might be faster, but if you’re going within five to ten miles the bicycle is just about the same speed as the train or maybe even faster.

    What is it like to bike in New York City?

    Well I think the trick in cycling, as the League of American Bicyclists would say, you should consider yourself as if you’re driving a bike rather than riding a bike. If you drive a bike as if you’re part of traffic you’re whole perspective is very different and you’ll feel much more confident and you are a part of traffic so traffic knows you’re there and traffic doesn’t move that fast in New York City so you can feel pretty safe. Just treat yourself like you’re driving a vehicle and I think it works much better than being a timid bicycle rider.

    How do you use cycling in your volunteer work with the Red Cross?

    When I get a call to be at the Red Cross Chapter, or if I’m teaching a class I’ll come to NYC by bike and go home by bike, or maybe combine bike and train but often by bike. And if I have to go to a disaster and I’ll take my bike there depending on how far it is or I’ll combine bike with train, but if I can get there by bike within the time, it’s easier for me to go there by bike. Besides that I can carry equipment on the bike that I couldn’t carry without a backpack. Sometimes I carry projectors, sometimes I carry audiovisual equipment on the bike too.

    Is there a connection for you between biking and volunteering for the Red Cross?

    Both of them give you a feeling of satisfaction. You’re satisfied because you’re out in the environment and satisfied because you’re helping people. The other thing is, when you’re on a bike and you come up to a disaster, you’re already part of the event, because you’re not isolated from what’s happening. You’re already in the field. Sometimes you feel closer or connected to people and the event itself, just by the virtue that you’re not in a big truck or underground in a train, you’re actually there. Just by being outside you feel more of a connection with the people you’re trying to help.

    What do you think about the New York Red Cross’ partnership with Citi Bike?

    It’s great that they’re supporting the Red Cross. I think Citi Bike is wonderful, and of course the Red Cross is wonderful so there’s two great organizations. I think it’s really positive.

    Citi Bike for Good, is a month-long initiative enabling Citi Bike riders to support three of New York City’s most impactful not-for-profit organizations when they ride. Between September 16 and October 16, every Citi Bike ride will support the American Red Cross, No Kid Hungry® and the YMCA of Greater New York. During Citi Bike for Good, hundreds of specially-branded bicycles will hit the streets. Citi will kick off the activation with a base donation of $10,000 for each charity and will follow with up to $40,000 in additional donations to the respective organizations based on ridership during the initiative.

    To learn more about the program including how you can join, visit www.citibikeforgood.com.

    Monday, October 12, 2015

    In Case You Missed It - Oct 12

    Red Cross Volunteer Vivian Moy at the Long Island Red Cross.
    Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 49 adults and 10 children following 32 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
    • Win a Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Kit by taking the online emergency preparedness training. You’ll be automatically entered to win. This contest is open to residents of New York City, Long Island, Orange, Sullivan, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties. Four winners will be chosen each month (notified via email).
    • Oct 12, 15: Red Cross blood drives; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
    • Oct 13, 15, 21: For Red Cross volunteers, sign up for one of our Home Fire Safety Academy Level I training dates. We’ll cover the basics of fire safety education and each of the technician roles needed for our Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. This is the best way to get prepared for our October 24th Installation Event. Check out the training calendar and register here!
    • Oct 14: Greater New York will be hosting the American Red Cross Gala, honoring our heroes.
    • Oct 17: On Saturday, volunteers and staff will gather throughout our region for our Full Scale Exercise – New York Shakes. In this exercise, we’ll confront the impact that this catastrophic event would have throughout our region. Whether you’re taking on a leadership role or exploring something new, this is an incredible opportunity to practice and to learn. Red Cross volunteers can sign up for a role here.

    Thursday, October 8, 2015

    Bike for Good and Be Safe


    Biking allows the ultimate freedom: riders can take in the sights and sounds of the City while avoiding gridlock and setting their own schedule.

    And if that’s not reason enough to bike in New York City, between September 16th and October 16th, the Citi Bike for Good Program will turn every ride on a Citi Bike® into a ride for hope.

    Thanks to generous support from Citibank, your Citi Bike® ride in New York City can help fund the vital relief and recovery services the Red Cross delivers daily to the Greater New York region.

    But before you start pedaling for your favorite charity, there are a few simple safety tips and rules of the road we want you to remember in order to stay safe:
    • Wear a Properly Fitted Bicycle Helmet. Protect your brain, save your life.
    • Check Your Equipment. Before riding, check tires and brakes.
    • See and Be Seen. Whether daytime, dawn, dusk, foul weather, or at night, you need to be seen by others. Wear something that reflects light, such as reflective tape or markings, or flashing lights. Remember, just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean the driver can see you.
    • Control Your Bicycle. Always ride with at least one hand on the handlebars. Carry books and other items in a bicycle carrier or backpack.
    • Watch for and Avoid Road Hazards. Be on the lookout for hazards such as potholes, broken glass, gravel, puddles, leaves, and animals.
    • Avoid Riding at Night. If you have to ride at night, wear something that makes you more easily seen by others and make sure your bike has flashing lights.
    And here are just a few tips for dealing with traffic when you are on that bike.

    Be sure to ALWAYS:
    • Go With the Traffic Flow. Ride on the right, in the same direction as other vehicles. If there is a bike lane, please stay in the lane. Go with the flow – not against it.
    • Obey All Traffic Laws. A bicycle is a vehicle and you’re a driver. When you ride on the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
    • Yield to Traffic When Appropriate. If there is no stop sign or traffic signal and you are coming from a smaller roadway (out of a driveway, from a sidewalk, a bike path, etc.), you must slow down and look to see if the way is clear before proceeding. This also means yielding to pedestrians who have already entered a crosswalk.
    • Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line, not in and out of cars. Signal your moves to others.
    • Stay Alert at All Times. Use your eyes AND ears. Watch out for potholes, cracks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks, or anything that could make you lose control of your bike. You need your ears to hear traffic and avoid dangerous situations – please don’t wear a headset when you ride.
    • Look Before Turning. When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, and then signal before making the turn. Watch for left or right-turning traffic.
    • Watch for Parked Cars. Ride far enough out from the curb to avoid the unexpected from parked cars (like doors opening, or cars pulling out).
    To learn more about the Citi Bike for Good Program, visit www.citibikeforgood.com. Follow the program on social media using #CitiBikeforGood and #RideforRedCross.

    Monday, October 5, 2015

    In Case You Missed It - Oct 5


    Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 89 adults and 25 children following 38 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
    • Win a Deluxe Emergency Preparedness Kit by taking the online emergency preparedness training. You’ll be automatically entered to win. This contest is open to residents of New York City, Long Island, Orange, Sullivan, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester Counties. Four winners will be chosen each month (notified via email).
    • Oct 5, 8, 9: Red Cross blood drives; 1 to 7pm; 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
    • Oct 11: Community Partners Tzu Chi will be canvassing Flushing to install free smoke alarms as part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
    • Oct 14: Greater New York will be hosting the American Red Cross Gala, honoring our heroes.
    • Oct 17: On Saturday, volunteers and staff will gather throughout our region for our Full Scale Exercise – New York Shakes. In this exercise, we’ll confront the impact that this catastrophic event would have throughout our region. Whether you’re taking on a leadership role or exploring something new, this is an incredible opportunity to practice and to learn. Red Cross volunteers can sign up for a role here.
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