Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Making Our Communities Safe - Janet Schoor, Ailid Ramos and Hector Pereira

For the past few days we've featured our dedicated Home Fire Preparedness volunteers going above and beyond to make this community a safer place.

Janet Schoor


Janet first got involved with the Red Cross after Hurricane Katrina.

“I thought it was time that I did something,” she recalled.

Since joining the Red Cross, Janet has volunteered with the call center and mass care, running shelters and giving out food. She was deployed twice to flooded areas in Iowa and upstate New York.

“Then when Sandy occurred, I just did whatever was needed,” she said.

These days, Janet volunteers for #GetAlarmedNYC on a daily basis. She talks to residents about the program, and sets their appointments. This is a critical piece of the process, explaining to clients that we’re providing not just alarms but also fire safety instruction and a plan to escape a burning home safely.

“I like doing the phone calls,” she says. “People are enormously grateful that the Red Cross is providing this service. Sometimes people even call me back and say, 'The team was here and they were fabulous.'”

She also is an incredibly reliable, friendly face at the staffing table at installation events.

“I like being in the field. It’s the person to person contact. It’s the gratitude of the people.”

Volunteering every day is quite a commitment, but it’s a no-brainer for Janet.

“There’s so much work that has to get done!” she says. “Everyone at Red Cross is so cooperative and helpful. It’s pleasant work, and as long as I can do a lot of it from home, then that makes it more efficient and better for me.”

Janet encourages anyone who’s interested to volunteer for an event and see what it’s about.

“You’ll feel very fulfilled. You have to be flexible, but the end result is worth it. Everybody knows the Red Cross and you get to be part of that!”

Ailid Ramos


“I had some free time and so I wanted to help,” says Ailid, a volunteer in Information Management for #GetAlarmedNYC. “I read about the program and it was very interesting to me because it is making a difference for New Yorkers. When I was looking for a volunteer opportunity, this was the only one that I found that had a variety: you could volunteer for so many different things. That’s what brought me to Red Cross."

Each #GetAlarmedNYC event requires planning to ensure that installation teams maximize the number of residents they see and alarms they install. Ailid’s role includes scheduling appointments with residents, mapping routes for installation teams and managing program data.
“This is something that I’m passionate about – working with data and reports – so when I heard about the position I fell in love with it,” she says. “I thought that I could have an impact on the organization and the campaign.”

Ailid is looking to gain work experience and to improve the lives of others at the same time.

“This is something that I want to do, in transition from being a stay at home mom to get back into the workforce. It makes me feel good, helping others. It’s like a win-win opportunity. I’m helping them, and also I feel this is good for me to restart and get back into my field.”

She hopes more people will consider volunteering for #GetAlarmedNYC, because it’s an opportunity to meet people, help New Yorkers, and to explore different service areas.

“The Red Cross is very open, and they make you feel like you’re part of the organization. I’ve seen Red Cross as an opportunity for me,” she says. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing.”

Hector Pereira


Hector came to the Red Cross after Superstorm Sandy.

“I wanted to respond immediately and get involved,” he says. “I saw the Emergency Response Vehicle onsite and that kind of inspired me. I thought I could do that.”

Hector later got involved with #GetAlarmedNYC by joining an installation event in the Bronx.

“As the volunteer alerts came out, I just continually signed up,” he says. “I took various classes and training and got more involved.”

Hector now serves as an installer, fire safety educator and driver for installation events; as well as a responder for the Bronx Disaster Action Team (DAT).

Outside of the Red Cross, Hector has been a New York City Auxiliary Police Officer in the Bronx for 35 years.

“I’ve been doing that since I was at John Jay College,” he says.

He’s retiring soon and will dedicate even more of his time to volunteering for the Red Cross.

“The positive thing about #GetAlarmedNYC is that you get immediate involvement in people’s lives. You do make a difference. There is the satisfaction of actually interacting with individuals in their homes. The whole model is that you’re saving a life without realizing it. It’s a great experience for anyone that wants to volunteer.”

Hector is eager for New Yorkers to step up and do more.

“The only way you can make a difference is by getting involved. Once you get involved, you create some amount of change. Also, you are kind of a role model to others. They see the things you’re doing.”

He also wants to inform potential volunteers of the many options available to them.

“With the flexibility of Red Cross, you make up your own hours. There’s no pressure. They want you to do what you can do, when you can do it.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

In Case You Missed It - Apr 26

NY State Senator Stewart-Cousins (left) and Metro New York North Red Cross CEO Mary Young (right)
at Yonkers Home Fire Preparedness Campaign event.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 147 adults and 46 children following 56 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
  • Calling all golf lovers! Barclays is looking for support at the PGA tour playoffs this summer from August 23-28 in Farmingdale, LI. Signing up gets you full admission to the tournament for you and a guest. Learn more about this great opportunity. Don't forget to select American Red Cross as your affiliation when you register!
  • Apr 26, 28: Red Cross blood drive: 1 to 7pm: 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today. 
  • April 30: #GetAlarmedNYC is coming to St. Albans Queens. Volunteer to help out, or sign up to get a free smoke alarm installed in your home
  • May 4: For weeks now, Star Wars: Force for Change has been raising money for good causes (the Red Cross is a beneficiary). There are many fun weekly challenges leading up to Star Wars “May the 4th Be With You” Day
  • May 7, 14: The Citizen Preparedness Corps (CPC) is looking for more trainers and is holding presenter training sessions on May 7 and 14. If you are a interested Red Cross volunteer, please email olga.wallace@redcross.org.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Making Our Communities Safer - Howard Moi and Hugh Maxwell

This week we will be featuring a few of our dedicated Home Fire Preparedness volunteers going above and beyond to make this community a safer place.

Howard Moi


Since 1993, Howard has volunteered for the Red Cross in public relations, health and safety and disaster services.

“When someone told me about Red Cross, I immediately thought that all they do is teach CPR, First Aid, and lifeguarding,” he said. “I was a little hesitant, but my friend motivated me to join. I started out doing public relations, handing out flyers and pamphlets at health fairs, street fairs. And then from there I became a First Aid/CPR instructor.”

After joining the Red Cross, Howard found reasons to stay, and to further explore his role.

“I liked the camaraderie, the people, the various departments that we could merge into. There are a lot of different roles, and if you find one role that doesn’t quite fit you, there’s always a role that might be a better fit. It’s just like shoes and clothes.”

Howard says the reason he’s so dedicated to #GetAlarmedNYC is simple: “It’s the mission of the program – to keep people safe, and to educate people. Things in the apartment or in the house can be replaced, but if you lose a family member or a pet, having memories isn’t enough,” he adds. “The more lives we can save by educating and preventing, the better off they’ll be and their neighbors will be.”

He encourages everyone to try out volunteering   for the Red Cross.

“If you like to talk, or if you’re a teacher, it will be a perfect fit because it’s a great chance to educate and teach people about the program. And if you’re someone who’s a little shy, and doesn’t like to speak in public, this is your chance to overcome it. It’s not really a classroom setting, or a big auditorium. It’s kind of like going to your friend’s house. And like any type of volunteer work, it’s very rewarding.”


Hugh Maxwell


Hugh came to the Red Cross like many other volunteers: a little unexpectedly. “A friend of mine had started volunteering, and he was not able to fulfill his obligation,” Hugh said. “So I decided to fill in.”

Hugh is an ambassador for #GetAlarmedNYC, giving presentations and cultivating relationships with other organizations. He created a partnership with Meals On Wheels in Staten Island, which serves meals to 1,200 homes every day. Now these visits can double as opportunities for fire safety education and smoke/carbon monoxide detector installation.

“I’ve lived here my whole life,” he said. “I am 100% dedicated to this, and we won’t stop.”

He makes regular presentations to parents at PTA meetings, encouraging them to sign up.

“I also am on the fundraising campaign for Staten Island Mental Health Society, so I’ve been able to contact them to offer installations to the families there.”

Ask Hugh what keeps him motivated, and he jumps in before you’ve finished the question: “It’s the need of the people,” he says. “It’s our obligation as human beings to make sure that these are accessible to everybody. This isn’t for the privileged, this is for everybody.”

Hugh is also recruiting volunteers from his alma mater, Empire State College.

“Your reward is the gratitude. When you’re leaving the house, people bend over backwards thanking you. It so far outweighs the dedication we put into the job. After your first install, you’ll see it automatically and it’ll drive you to come back.”

Monday, April 18, 2016

Making Our Communities Safer - Antwan Peterson and Travis Greaves

This week we will be featuring a few of our dedicated Home Fire Preparedness volunteers going above and beyond to make this community a safer place.

Antwan Peterson 


Between his roles as disaster responder and team lead and #GetAlarmedNYC driver, Antwan volunteers for the Red Cross six days a week. 

“I never wanted to leave the Red Cross, once I got in,” he said. “The family here is very welcoming.”

Antwan’s experience providing assistance after home fires inspired him to get involved with #GetAlarmedNYC. #GetAlarmedNYC is a Red Cross initiative in partnership with the FDNY, the FDNY Foundation, the Mayor's Office and NY City Council which offers free fire safety education and free 10-year smoke and carbon monoxide detector installations. Its mission is to reduce injuries and deaths as a result of home fires. With as little as two minutes to safely escape a burning home, smoke alarms are critical to alerting people to a fire so that they have time to get out. 

“We basically try to keep the fires down,” Antwan says, “and educate families, relatives, and all the people affected by the fire. We try to prevent this from happening to anybody else.” 

One home fire response in particular stands out for Antwan.

“The family was downstairs in the lobby area, the son and the mother, and the hallway was flooded full of water. By the time we got to the residents’ apartment, the whole place was destroyed. They had pets under the rubble that had died. Just seeing the devastation of everything they had lost, and how it affected them…it just made my heart bleed.”

“You know what it’s like to go through all these fires, and every scenario is different…but you know what they’re going through. And it’s very compelling to know that [Red Cross] is here.”

Travis Greaves


As a former marine and student at Metropolitan College of New York’s emergency management program, Travis came to the Red Cross ready to work. 

“I wanted to learn as much as I could learn. I always challenge myself to see how far I could go,” he says. “One of my classmates and I had a long weekend, and wanted to see how many of the [Red Cross online] classes we could do. She did 27 in four days, I did 29. It’s always like a challenge to us.”

Travis currently works as a team lead for #GetAlarmedNYC, and through his university, is on a Brooklyn Disaster Action Team (DAT). 

“I also did the New Years’ Eve celebration,” he added. “It was an experience I’ll never forget. It was fun working with the first responders, making sure they were taken care of. I was the Mass Care Lead for the morning shift, and I stayed on until the ball dropped.”

Travis says, what keeps him coming back is the inspiration the work gives him. 

“With everything that’s going on in the world right now, all you hear about is the negative. You never really hear that much about the positive things that are going on.  When you come and actually experience it, it gives you some glimmer of hope.”

Travis says the hours and the commitment are worth it to him. 

“I brought my kids so they see what I do. It’s a sacrifice now but it pays off later on.”

In Case You Missed It - Apr 18

Red Cross colleagues are working around the clock to help people affected by
the terrible earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 146 adults and 49 children following 39 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
  • April 14 to 21: Visit select Noodles & Company during April 14th through April 21, purchase a regular size Mac & Cheese and $1 will go to help the American Red Cross on Long Island. Valid at the Noodles &\ Company in The Westbury Plaza in Garden City, Garden City Park in Garden City, Waverly Plaza in Patchogue, Airport Plaza in Farmingdale, and the Broadway Mall in Hicksville. Spread the word!
  • Apr 18, 26, 28: Red Cross blood drive: 1 to 7pm: 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Apr 20: The Red Cross has been partnering with media companies and Youtube stars to promote fire safety and on April 20th, there will be a Tubeathon to benefit the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross. #2steps2Minutes 
  • Apr 21: On this day, join thousands of people like you, uniting to support families who have just experienced an emergency and may have lost everything - Red Cross Giving Day. #help1family 
  • April 30: #GetAlarmedNYC is coming to St. Albans Queens. Volunteer to help out, or sign up to get a free smoke alarm installed in your home.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

National Volunteer Week 2016

Greater New York

By Stan Frank, American Red Cross 


In honor of National Volunteer Week, we will be highlighting some of the award winners from our recent volunteer recognition events in Long Island, Metro New York North, and New York City. Today we look two of our New York City  winners, Oonagh Turitto, and Nancy Soto.

Nancy Soto – Leadership Award 

Nancy Soto and NY Red Cross CEO Josh Lockwood

What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

Nancy Soto: I wanted to do something constructive for my community and have the feeling that I was making a difference to someone.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying?  

NS: Doing [disaster] response in the field, not only to assist those affected with housing or meals but to show them someone is there to support them, even if only with a hug or to listen to them.  This is the most rewarding feeling.

What are some of the activities you are currently working on?  

NS: As one of the Response Managers, we are always training new volunteers to respond to fires and other events.  I am also part of the Logistics/Training/Disaster Assessment teams.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer?  

NS: You meet the most interesting people in the world, and you get the ability to serve and learn to protect yourself and others at all times.


Oonagh Turitto - Clara Barton Award 

Oonagh Turitto and her Clara Barton Award

What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

Oonagh Turitto: When I joined in 2008 my younger brother was currently an active volunteer while serving in the USAF, and I had been very interested in joining.  Changes in my life gave me the time to join and become an active volunteer.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying?  

OT: Being a member of the PRO Team (Progressive Response Oncall Team) gives me the opportunity to help those in need as well as mentor fellow teammates.  I find that helping to give another volunteer a positive experience while helping those affected by disaster is extremely satisfying.

What are some of the major activities you are currently working on? 

OT: I am involved in the Ops Lead for the NYRR marathon Post Finish Medical Support team.  We are now in marathon season and have races to support in May, June, September, and the full marathon in November.  As OPS Lead I am responsible for the teams that work post finish as Medical Spotters.  I am also a member of the Mass Care Leadership Team as the PRO Team Lead and Sheltering.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer?  

OT: Here at the Red Cross there is a place and a need for everyone.  You can support the mission working in the Chapter or in the Field.  There are even opportunities that can be done remotely.  So, if you are thinking about it…come talk to someone…join the team and help make a difference! 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

National Volunteer Week 2016

Metro New York North Profiles

By Stan Frank, American Red Cross

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we will be highlighting some of the award winners from our recent volunteer recognition events in Metro New York North, Long Island, and New York City. Today we look at two of our Metro New York North winners, David Weil, and Rhonda Jacobius.


David Weil – Biomedical Services Award 

David Weil receiving Biomedical Services Award

What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

David Weil: My parents were both very active in humanitarian endeavors, so growing up with people who “walked the walk” certainly influenced me.  I was an “activist” in my own right in my early childhood, so finding an outlet to “give back” was important to me.  Red Cross was a good fit at this stage of my life.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying?  

DW: Since I still work full time, my time is limited, so I found the structured schedule of Blood Services best suited to my availability.  The fact that I’m a pretty social person made the Blood Drive volunteer detail a perfect complement to my personality.

What are some of the major activities you are currently working on?  

DW: Where Red Cross is concerned, I have no major activities as such.  My tasks involve changing signage as necessary in two community locations, and participating in as many Blood Drives as possible at registration or canteen.  Outside of Red Cross, my time is presently consumed planning and organizing my 50th High School Reunion in 3 weeks.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer? 

DW: The satisfaction and gratification are self-evident once you get involved.  Everyone has a responsibility to do something to “give back” in their community, and the Red Cross mission is a deserving option.  Get involved and experience the instant rewards.


Rhonda Jacobius – Katherine Knapp Award 

Rhonda Jacobius receiving Katherine Knapp Award

What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

Rhonda Jacobius: Seven years ago I ran into an old friend who had been volunteering at his local Red Cross chapter for the previous 10 years and he told me how satisfying he found it.  He was so enthusiastic about the Red Cross, I decided to give it a try myself.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying?  

RJ: I like  coordinating responder activities and getting involved in Mass Care plans. I find there is nothing more satisfying than direct client contact.

What are some of the major activities you are currently working on?  

RJ: Right now I am part of a Leadership Team for Mass Care training.  I’m also training to be a Shelter Manager.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer?  

RJ: If you want to make a positive difference in someone’s life, become a volunteer!  There are many career paths to choose from and all of them lead to a feeling of great satisfaction!



Tuesday, April 12, 2016

National Volunteer Week 2016

Long Island Profiles

By Stan Frank, American Red Cross

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we will be highlighting some of the award winners from our recent volunteer recognition events in Long Island, Metro New York North, and New York City. Today we look at two of our Long Island winners, Ellen Boyle, and Elaine Biller.



Ellen Boyle – Support Services Award
 
Ellen Boyle receiving Support Services Award


What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

Ellen Boyle: I’ve always enjoyed volunteering.  I had just finished as a Girl Scout Leader and was looking for a new opportunity.  The Red Cross seemed like it might be a good choice.  I finished my training in the summer of 2011 and my first real disaster experience was Hurricane Irene and I’ve stayed with the organization ever since.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying? 

EB: I’m in staffing and working with volunteers so they can go out and help clients.  They know I’ve got their back.  If they have questions or are struggling with something or they don’t know where or who to ask, they can reach out to me and I will see if I can help them.

What are some of the major activities you are currently working on?  

EB: I am currently helping with the NYC Disaster Ready Summit.  I also take great pleasure in helping fellow volunteers maneuver their way through our Learning website (EMBARC) as well as helping them with Volunteer Connection.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer?  

EB: It’s a lot of hard work but extremely rewarding at the end of the day knowing you’ve helped someone who is probably going through one of the worst times of their lives.




Elaine Biller – Community Preparedness Award


Elaine Biller receiving Community Preparedness Award

What first motivated you to become a Red Cross Volunteer?  

Elaine Biller: I have always had the Red Cross in my life, first taking swimming lessons, then WSI and the circle completed when my children learned to swim through the Red Cross.  When 9-11 happened, I was a volunteer on a site run  by citizens.  Through the haze and dust I saw the Red Cross Disaster Services truck.  This logo soothed me during this tumultuous time.  It gave me hope that some things would still be right with the world, and I joined shortly after as a volunteer.

What volunteer activities do you find most satisfying?  

EB: I love working with clients.  I am a DAT responder and feel satisfied when I can help someone who just lost everything in a fire, or nearly everything.  During their uncertainty they look for help.  To be able to provide for others who are vulnerable is very humbling, and rewarding.  I worked many jobs during Super Storm Sandy, and I felt I made an impact being on the ERV heading into impacted areas just as the water was receding.  Again, seeing people at their most vulnerable is humbling.  Before I begin any assignment with the Red Cross I say a prayer: “Let me be my best and provide what this person needs, and let my best be enough”.  Again, this simple prayer started with Sandy when I saw the enormity of what we were undertaking.  I say this every time I am asked to help in some way, ever since.

What are some of the major activities you are currently working on?  

EB: I am leading the Long Island team for Citizen Preparedness.  I am on the ERV team, DAT team and part of the Local Disaster Headquarters Team for Long Island (formally, the LDOC).  Recently, I have been asked to serve as a Red Cross Ambassador and look forward to this new venture.

What would you say to someone who is thinking of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer?  


EB: Do it!!! Volunteering gives back in return more than you can ever give.  It fills you with gratitude for being able to help others.  It provides opportunities and experiences out of the ordinary, and you meet amazing, self-less, like-minded people along the way!!




Monday, April 11, 2016

In Case You Missed It - Apr 11


Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 179 adults and 50 children following 66 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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

8 New Yorkers Who Give Back

Via #MyRedCrossLife


Why drives so many New Yorkers to give of their time to help others? That’s one of the things we learned when we launched our #MyRedCrossLife Instagram series. Spearheaded by longtime Red Crosser Chi Kong Lui last August, the idea was simple: learn a bit more about the lives and motivations of some of our 6000+ volunteers. Here is a look back at eight of these stories.


"The one thing I find surprising about responding to disasters is that there are some people who are so prideful, that they don’t want any help. There was a guy who lived by himself—it was just him and his two cats, and he was very upset. He pretty much lost everything. The man was in his 70s and he had been on his own since he was a teenager, and you could tell from doing the damage assessment of his home that he was well traveled. He just didn’t want to accept any services, but after talking to him more and more, I was able to convince him to take the services and he was very grateful at the end for having done it. He didn’t really say anything in particular. He just thanked us a hundred times and that was a very feel good story for me." -Robert Hall (New York, NY) #MyRedCrossLife #RedCrossStory #Volunteer #NYC
A photo posted by American Red Cross Greater NY (@redcrossny) on

"One of the first things I tell a victim after a fire or a vacate is that they are not going to have to go through this alone. The Red Cross is going to help them and there are going to be other agencies that are going to help them. The second thing I let them know is that they are not going to be out in the streets. Many times they’ll start crying especially women who have children because it was in their mind that they were going to end up homeless out in the streets. It’s a good feeling when you can help somebody out of a really bad situation because I’ve been there. I remember growing up, it was just me, my mother, and my sister and we were poor. People helped us out in different ways as we were growing up. I want to do the same thing myself." -Patty Jones (Brooklyn, NY) #MyRedCrossLife #RedCrossStory #Volunteer
A photo posted by American Red Cross Greater NY (@redcrossny) on




“I think in everything we do in life we prepare for things. We prepare for careers, for families, but nobody really seems to take an interest in preparing for disasters. If we as a community can be more prepared, it makes it easier for us to respond better to our own disasters instead of relying on others. I didn’t have a lot of role models growing up so I think in a way I’ve always wanted to picture myself in a position where if I had the opportunity to help others I would. Now having a young son it makes it easier for me to want to set a good example. And I think if you watch somebody’s action it makes it easier for you to emulate it.” -Alex Poku (Harriman, NY) #MyRedCrossLife #redcrossstory #RedCross #nygram #volunteer #volunteering #photooftheday #instalike #follow #picoftheday
A photo posted by American Red Cross Greater NY (@redcrossny) on

Learn more volunteering with the Red Cross.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Help from the Red Cross in Staten Island

By Amanda Rothenberg and Caroline Hroncich, American Red Cross 


Damian Stapelkamp had just gotten off the bus one December evening when he noticed smoke rising from a house in his neighborhood. As the Staten Island native edged closer to the source of the smoke, he quickly began to realize something was not right. Its origin was the house adjoining his childhood home, which was quickly becoming engulfed in flames. 

As a former professional wrestler and past contestant on Master Chef, Stapelkamp has learned to adapt to many challenging situations. Described by a friend as the kind of guy that would “give you the shirt off his back if you needed it,” Stapelkamp uses his positive attitude to prevail in even the most stressful situations. However, faced with the reality that he may lose his childhood home, Stapelkamp wasn’t sure what to do. But in the midst of everything, he recalls, the American Red Cross was there to provide some guidance. 

“I didn’t even notice that they were there until they came up to us,” he said of the Red Cross volunteers. “No fanfare, not trying to make things about them, just ‘how can we help’, which I really appreciated.”

The Red Cross provided Stapelkamp and his mother, who he lives with, a hotel room for the night. The fire was put out by 11:30 p.m. and there was minimal damage. 

“I thought I was going back to the house the next day,” Stapelkamp said. It seemed like the worst was over. But it didn’t end there; during the night, a second fire broke out at their home. 

“I guess they call it a rekindle,” Stapelkamp said, “That did much more damage. The first fire was terrible… the second fire pretty much destroyed everything we owned.”

Left with nothing, the Stapelkamps felt defeated. For the second time in two days, the Red Cross was there to provide some guidance, offering the pair some money for basic necessities to help them get back on their feet. 

“You’re sitting there and you’re watching everything you own burn, and there are people there saying,  ‘Look, we have stuff for you, we’re here for you, we’re going to help you’,” Stapelkamp said. 

Looking back on his experience, Stapelkamp says he was moved by the actions of the Red Cross volunteers. 

“These people are getting up out of their beds and giving their time to make sure people are taken care of and safe. They’re making sure people are healthy, that they have lodging and that they have clothes on their back, and that’s really important.” 

And for all who have graciously donated and volunteered their time to the Red Cross, Stapelkamp says, “Thank you. Thank you for your help, thank you for supporting us; this is something I’m going to support in the future.”


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

In Case You Missed It - Apr 4

Red Cross Responders at the scene of 6-alarm fire in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 212 adults and 84 children following 50 local disasters. Here are some highlights from last week and a preview of upcoming activities (see below).

Last Week in Review

A message from our Chief Disaster Officer...
Posted by American Red Cross in Greater New York on Thursday, March 31, 2016


Upcoming Events and Opportunities
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