Wednesday, June 28, 2017

"Without the Red Cross, I think we would be lost.”

By Kylie Davidson, American Red Cross in Greater New York

After a five-alarm fire tore through the sixth floor of a 112-unit apartment complex in Elmhurst, Queens, Red Cross volunteers immediately responded to provide emergency relief to more than 300 affected residents including Kevin Rojas and his mother.


On April 11, 2017 Kevin Rojas was picking up his girlfriend to go see a movie when fire trucks raced by his car. When he turned onto his street, Rojas discovered with great anxiety that the fire trucks were headed to his own apartment complex.

“I was watching the fire happen before my eyes,” Rojas said. “It was like being in the movies.”

As his building burned, Rojas stood across the street in shock watching firefighters battle the blaze well into the night. He was so focused on the fire, he didn’t realize Red Cross volunteers had arrived on scene to assist those affected and displaced by the fire.

The Red Cross established a reception center and shelter at PS-13Q, a nearby school, and provided food, temporary housing, and other emergency relief services to the more than 300 residents affected by the fire. It was at the shelter that Rojas reconnected with many of his neighbors.

“They were there so quickly,” Rojas said.

The damage from the fire was extensive. The sixth floor was completely destroyed, and the fifth floor sustained severe smoke, water damage and mold. Rojas’ apartment was on the fifth floor.

“Everything was lost,” Rojas said. “We left everything behind.”

Along with meals for several days after the fire, Rojas turned to the Red Cross for emergency financial assistance for basic necessities.

As for housing, Rojas’ girlfriend lives a half a block away from his apartment, so he and his mother had a place to stay after the fire. They will continue to live there until they are able to return home in several months.

Over the years the apartment complex had grown into a tightly-knit community, with many of the neighbors having known each other for decades. Following the fire, they’ve stayed connected, offering each other support as they cope with the loss. Rojas, who has lived in the building for the past 30 years, adopted an informal leadership role among the tenants, advocating on their behalf to help ensure they’re receiving the assistance and information they need.

Two months after the fire, Rojas visited the Red Cross on behalf of his family and many of his neighbors, reconnecting with Red Cross caseworkers and inquiring about additional resources available to them, like gift cards provided by Stop and Shop and vouchers for furniture.

“It’s a blessing honestly… tremendous amount of help,” Rojas said. “Without the Red Cross, I think we would be lost.”


Monday, June 26, 2017

In Case You Missed It - June 26

LI Red Cross CEO Neela Lockel and volunteer Craig Cooper appeared on WLNY on Sunday morning.

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 92 adults and 30 children following 47 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
  • June 27-30, July 3: Red Cross blood drives will take place from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Greater NY Red Cross building located at 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • July 1: The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is coming to the Bronx to help make the community safer one home at a time. Volunteer to help out, or sign up to get a free smoke alarm installed in your home
  • Aug 22-27: Do you like to volunteer? Do you like golf? If so, have we got an opportunity for you! Sign up today to volunteer at THE NORTHERN TRUST at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, NY. For $75, you gain daily access to the tournament for you and a guest, a logoed polo shirt and baseball cap, and much more. Plus, your efforts will support the mission of the American Red Cross. Learn more here.

Monday, June 19, 2017

In Case You Missed It - June 19

Last Thursday night, Red Cross volunteers, employees, and board members from across New York came 
together to celebrate the LI Red Cross’s Centennial Celebration.

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 106 adults and 37 children following 52 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
  • June 20, 22 & 23: Red Cross blood drives will take place from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Greater NY Red Cross building located at 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • Aug 22-27: Do you like to volunteer? Do you like golf? If so, have we got an opportunity for you! Sign up today to volunteer at THE NORTHERN TRUST at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, NY. For $75, you gain daily access to the tournament for you and a guest, a logoed polo shirt and baseball cap, and much more. Plus, your efforts will support the mission of the American Red Cross. Learn more here.

Monday, June 12, 2017

In Case You Missed It - June 12

The new summer interns began their Red Cross experience by installing smoke alarms in Sheepshead Bay.

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 48 adults and 24 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
  • June 12, 14, 15 & 17: Red Cross blood drives will be held from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Greater NY Red Cross Building located at 520 West 49th Street, Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • June 15: The American Red Cross on Long Island will celebrate 100 years of service to the Long Island community and recognize heroes from the community who embody the spirit of the Red Cross at its Centennial Celebration Gala at the Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, NY
  • Aug 22-27: Do you like to volunteer? Do you like golf? If so, have we got an opportunity for you! Sign up today to volunteer at THE NORTHERN TRUST at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury. For $75, you gain daily access to the tournament for you and a guest, a logoed polo shirt & baseball cap, and much more. Plus, your efforts will support the mission of the American Red Cross. Learn more here.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

In Case You Missed It - June 5


MMC Global volunteers serve the Harlem community through fire safety education and smoke detector installations.  

Over the last 7 days, the Greater New York Red Cross provided emergency assistance to 88 adults and 40 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 and Opportunities
  • June 5 & 9: Red Cross blood drives will take place from 2 to 7 pm at the American Red Cross in Greater New York building, located at 520 West 49th Street in Manhattan. Schedule an appointment to donate today.
  • June 10: The 2017 Full-Scale Exercise American Red Cross of Greater New York's regional opportunity to test and train to our current plans, policies, and procedures for serving our clients in a large-scale Disaster Relief Operation. We are looking for volunteer actors to play the roles of survivors in a shelter. Please complete this form if you are interested in participating in the Full-Scale Exercise as an actor. 
  • June 15: The American Red Cross on Long Island will celebrate 100 years of service to the Long Island community and recognize heroes from the community who embody the spirit of the Red Cross at its Centennial Celebration Gala at the Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, NY. 
  • Aug 22-27: Do you like to volunteer? Do you like golf? If so, have we got an opportunity for you! Sign up today to volunteer at THE NORTHERN TRUST at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, NY. For $75, you gain daily access to the tournament for you and a guest, a logoed polo shirt & baseball cap, and much more. Plus, your efforts will support the mission of the American Red Cross. Learn more here.

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