Monday, June 10, 2019

In Case You Missed It - June 10


Guests celebrating our Heroes Among Us Red Cross Gala in Long Island last Thursday (Photo: John Eng)

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 120 adults and 43 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 

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

In Case You Missed It - June 3

Red Cross Volunteer Mark Gordon assisted local neighborhood through disasters. (Photo: Lisa Weatherbee)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 113 adults and 33 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

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Three Questions: Red Cross Disaster Responder Mark Gordon

"Three Questions …” is an American Red Cross in Greater New York blog series featuring staff, volunteers, and partners who help carry out our humanitarian mission. Through these short interviews, we hope to shine a light on our different programs and get to know those who make this work possible.

 

Mark Gordon joined the Red Cross as a volunteer in January of this year as a way to spend his retirement and give back to the organization that once helped his family after a fire. As part of the disaster response team, Mark takes shifts every week during which we assists people that have been affected by local disasters. In this interview he talks about what it means for him to be a Red Cross volunteer.

Why did you join the Red Cross? 

It’s very interesting: four years ago, there was a fire in my mother-in-law’s apartment in Great Neck and it was burned to cinders. It was a horrible day, there was an ice storm and it was miserable. By the time my wife and I got there, the Long Island Red Cross was already there. These two nice young gentlemen were there talking to my mother-in-law and calming her down and giving all the services that we give. 

I said that when I retire, that’s what I wanna do. I’m semi-retired now and my wife’s a school teacher, so I can’t really stay home. I need something to do. This was the perfect way to spend my retirement, giving back and thanking the Red Cross for what they did for my family. 



Did you find here what you were looking for? 

Yes, and more so. I’ve been working almost 50 years now. And this is the only place where nobody has an ego. Especially, in today’s world, where everything is a zero-sum game. Meaning that for me to win, you have to lose. What I’m finding at the Red Cross is that nobody has an ego. The only way that I can win is if you win. 

What is the most impressionable moment you have had at the Red Cross? 

One of my first days out, it was right before Christmas and there was a grandmother and her two young grandchildren. It was a [building] vacate, and she was crying. It was a week before Christmas. Her grandchildren were probably in second and fifth grade. They were just there with their backpacks, not knowing where they’re going. 

You don’t realize how lucky you are until you see people in need. That’s why I enjoy the Red Cross because we’re helping people at the time when they need it the most. It’s just such a nice feeling. 


Photo credits: Lisa Weatherbee, American Red Cross


Monday, May 13, 2019

In Case You Missed It - May 13

Sound the Alarm comes to Yonkers with volunteers, community partners and elected officials. (Photo: Matt LaMonica)
Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 108 adults and 31 children following 45 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, May 6, 2019

    In Case You Missed It - May 6

    National American Red Cross CEO, Gail McGovern, Greater New York Chapter CEO, Josh Lockwood,
    Board members Ashleigh Banfield, Tom Morris Jr., and John Osborn, and other partners in front of hundreds
    of volunteers who were ready to Sound the Alarm at the kickoff.
    Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 183 adults and 56 children following 40 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, April 30, 2019

    In Case You Missed It - April 29

    Red Cross volunteer standing next to the delivered personal hygiene kits for the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. 
    Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 84 adults and 32 children following 44 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

    Friday, April 26, 2019

    Three Questions: Shirley Leung

    By Doris Liu

    "Three Questions …" is an American Red Cross in Greater New York blog series featuring staff, volunteers, and partners who help carry out our humanitarian mission. Through these short interviews, we hope to shine a light on our different programs and get to know those who make this work possible.


    Shirley at the state EOC in Alabama following tornadoes last month. 
    Shirley Leung is a data analysis and research expert who has volunteered with the Red Cross for almost two years. Her extensive background working with non-profits as well as her GIS mapping skills have proved invaluable in her Red Cross work. Shirley has supported local programs here in NYC and lent her expertise and dedication after large-scale disasters far from home. Last fall she deployed to California and more recently she traveled to Alabama to support Red Cross activities after devastating tornadoes.

    How did your background lead you to the American Red Cross?

    I have a background in non-profit and economic development as well as investment banking. A lot of those things contain data analysis that I do with the Red Cross. I’m really big on research. I’ve also been volunteering for a long time, since 1995, at other non-profit organizations, like charity races and children’s foundations. I did a lot of translation for patients since I’m bilingual. I feel like I’ve continued to do what I like to do here at the Red Cross. It is a way to invest in and contribute to my community. The Red Cross has a volunteer culture that I like because it’s doing something meaningful. I know I can contribute my skill set and my previous experiences to work here. In my previous experiences, I learned about GIS mapping, which is really helpful for the Red Cross fire safety campaign. 

    What has been your favorite project so far at the Red Cross?

    Being deployed to California [wildfires] for 12 days. Sitting in the EOC overnight might sound crazy for a favorite moment, but it really helped me learn a lot about these kinds of crises and how they are managed by multiple agencies at the federal level. In California, I was at the state EOC and so we were working with FEMA and other state level agencies. They would come to us [the Red Cross] for aid during the wildfires. We basically liaise with these agencies and help operate in shelters as well as with citizen evacuation. It’s complicated because when you see a fire on the screen it’s spreading one way and once the wind changes the direction the fire will spread to a completely different location. So, you really have to monitor everything. We also have to work with our partners to make sure that if something’s wrong in the shelters, it can get fixed. You never know what’s going to come up.

    Recently, you deployed to Alabama to support after a large-scale tornado. What did you do there and how did the team cooperate with the local agencies?

    I was at the government operation center representing the Red Cross, working with the Alabama county emergency management agency. Basically, what we did was serving as a conduit between the local agencies and the Red Cross. Working with local agencies, we work with information exchange because the Red Cross has a really strong damage assessment team. We went out to the field, saw the damaged and assessed it, and brought the data back. Then, we mapped it [the damage] so that the local agency directors could see it, and they came to us to get more information so that they can make their own decisions like setting up a multi-agency resources center. The agencies then used our data to predict and figure out how many families may need help, and what types of help they would need. Since I do mapping, I was able to help the GIS team.

    What I learned the most is that because this disaster was very localized, we learned things about the community that we did not know before. We had to do outreach work through the churches. Because a lot of them [residents] lost transportation and there’s no car to drive them. Because it’s hard for them to access the resources, we had to go out and reach out to the churches in order to reach out to people. Also, the community was very closely knit. They didn’t go to the shelters, because the churches provide funding for them to stay in the hotels and their families take them in.

    My biggest takeaway is that the local government really relies on organizations like the Red Cross to help them get through disasters. Because of our resources, including our knowledge, material, volunteers, technology, and expertise in disaster management. Therefore, we are always ready. We got a lot of training and a lot of us have deployment experiences, so we can just all drop in and start to work and made things happen.

    To learn more about the American Red Cross response to last month's tornadoes in Alabama, click here. 

    Wednesday, April 24, 2019

    In Case You Missed It - April 22

    Red Cross volunteers standing with executive staff and holding their awarded certificates of recognition.
    Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 129 adults and 60 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

    Monday, April 15, 2019

    In Case You Missed It - April 15

    Staff of Red Cross Metro New York North Chapter celebrating the
    retirement of Red Cross volunteer of 20 years, Jackie Jones.
    Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 109 adults and 33 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

    Monday, April 8, 2019

    In Case You Missed It: April 8

    Council Member Margaret Chin standing with Red Cross Greater New York CEO Josh Lockwood in a press conference to promote the 2019 Sound the Alarm campaign. 
    Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 223 adults and 54 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