Work of Her Hands Comes from Her Heart

Volunteer Caseworker Also Crochets for Victims of Disaster

By Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

“I don’t knit.  I crochet.”

Stephanie Farley, a retired school teacher and long-time Red Cross volunteer, says she found a bag of yarn in her closet several years ago and started stitching.

“I couldn’t remember why I bought it, what I was going to make with it, and I had a hat pattern, so I made a hat.”

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Since then, Stephanie has stitched an untold number of hats that have been given to residents in Northeast Ohio who experience disasters like home fires.  Each time Stephanie brings a new batch of hand-stitched hats, they are distributed by Disaster Action Team members who respond to home fires.

“The first hat anyone took was bright red,” Stephanie said. “He was so excited, he was waving it around.”

Stephanie says she also received a thank you note from the recipient of one of her hats.

She’ll be crocheting for the foreseeable future, after making a request for yarn on the website nextdoor.com, a private social network for neighbors.  “I got tons of yarn.  I’m good for a year or two.”

 

You don’t have to knit, or crochet to volunteer for the Red Cross.  Your heart just has to be in the same place as Stephanie’s.  Visit redcross.org/neo and click “Volunteer” to explore the many ways you, too, can help others.

The Aches, the Chills, the Pail Next to the Couch

Understanding the flu can help you protect yourself and your family

By Brad Galvan, American Red Cross Communications Volunteer

Nothing can take a healthy person (or a family) down quicker than the flu. This year, hospitals have been filling up with patients who are suffering from the symptoms of the flu. The dreaded influenza (flu) bug is described by the Center for Disease Control as a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. It’s primarily spread when people cough, sneeze or talk. We are all at risk, but children and the elderly are impacted the most.

Do your part to remain healthy and to keep others safe

Building Resilient Communities in Colombia January 2014

Jana Sweeny
receives her annual flu shot at a
mobile health brigade in La
Guajira, Colombia         Photo credit: Roberto Brito de la Cuesta/American Red Cross 

 

Physicians recommend the flu shot for everyone over six months old. Ideally, the vaccination is done prior to ‘flu season,’ but it’s never too late. The vaccination is meant to protect you from the common strains of influenza. Although encouraged (and sometimes required by some workplaces, including hospitals), it’s not perfect. So what else can you do?

Debra Fast, DO, an MDVIP-affiliated internist who practices in Wooster, Ohio, says, “Aside from the annual vaccine, the most important way to prevent flu is frequent hand washing with soap and water especially prior to eating and avoidance of hand shaking. Most studies regarding taking vitamins like high dose Vitamin C for prevention of colds and flu show no benefit. Instead, we know that eating well-balanced meals and sleeping seven to eight hours a night is a great way to rejuvenate and boost your immune system.”

You unfortunately caught it – what should you do?

If you begin to feel the symptoms of the flu, it’s important to see a healthcare provider. Some antiviral drugs can help shorten the duration and reduce the severity of the symptoms. You should also do your best to stay away from others, drink plenty of liquids and rest. Once you begin to feel better, replace toothbrushes and use disinfectant sprays on everyday objects such as cell phones, remotes, door knobs, etc., that you come into contact with.

You’ve avoided the flu. Hooray! How can you help those that aren’t so lucky?

This year’s flu has caused an influx of patients to be admitted to hospitals. Those patients can contract additional complications and could need the gift of your blood – consider donating to the American Red Cross. https://www.redcrossblood.org/

 

 

Celebrating a Red Cross Pioneer During Black History Month

By Christie Peters, External Communications Manager, Biomedical Services

Dr-Charles-Drew

During Black History Month this February, the Red Cross celebrates the legacy of blood-banking pioneer Dr. Charles Drew.  Dr. Drew was an African-American surgeon who became the medical director of the first Red Cross blood bank in 1941. Drew’s research about the storage and shipment of blood plasma proved that blood could be stored for transfusions. During World War II, at the military’s request, Drew helped the Red Cross initiate a national blood program that collected 13.3 million pints of blood for use by the armed forces.

Donors of all blood types and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to give to help ensure blood and platelet donations reflect the diversity of the patients who rely on them. Certain blood types are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups. Red blood cells carry markers called antigens on their surface that determine one’s blood type. There are more than 600 known antigens, and some are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups. Blood must be matched very closely for patients with rare blood types or those who need repeated transfusions. Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone of a similar ethnicity.

  • Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. Eligible donors are urged to make an appointment to give now by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

2018 H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award to be Presented to Brian Moore on March 1

Moore Brian 2011Join us on March 1 at the Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties Chapter as we celebrate heroes at the 23rd annual Acts of Courage event!

One hero who will be honored is Brian J. Moore, who has built a lifetime of heroic actions through his contributions to many facets of the Greater Akron community. Brian will receive the 2018 H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award which the Red Cross proudly presents each year to one or more individuals who best exemplify leadership in the community, compassion for its people and dedication to the humanitarian mission of the Red Cross. He was selected by a committee of past award recipients.

Brian has an enthusiastic spirit. He is a steadfast mentor, and committed friend, to everyone who knows him.

Born in Dunkirk, New York and after graduating magna cum laude from the State University of New York, Brian moved to the Akron area in 1981 to attend The University of Akron School of Law.  He received his Juris Doctor cum laude in 1984. He is a shareholder with the 160 attorney law firm of Roetzel & Andress.  He practices real estate and finance law and serves as Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Akron Office.  He has been listed in the “Best Lawyers in America” directory for Real Estate and Banking for over 12 consecutive years and has been recognized as a “Top 100-Ohio Super Lawyer.”  Brian has served as Chairman of the Real Property Committee for the Akron Bar Association.  He is also a member of the Real Estate Council of the Ohio State Bar Association.

Brian served as the 2001 volunteer tournament chair for the NEC Invitational – World Golf Championships (now known as the Bridgestone Invitational) and is a Past-President of the Executive Committee of Northern Ohio Golf Charities.  He currently is Vice Chair of the Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation Board.  He serves on a number of other community boards including, Downtown Akron Partnership (Former Board Chair and Current Executive Committee Member), Blue Coats (Current Board Chair), Summit Choral Society (Vice Chair), and Music for the Western Reserve. He is also a past chairman of Portage Country Club. His other past board service includes United Way (Past Campaign Chair), Akron Bar Association, Red Cross of Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties (Past Chairman of the Board), Greenleaf Family Center (Past Chairman of the Board), Leadership Akron Alumni Association (Past President), the Akron Civic Theater and the Akron Jaycees (Past President).  He is president of Leadership Akron Class 10.  In 2015, Brian was honored with the 2015 David Lieberth Community Vision Award by Leadership Akron.  He is a cantor and choir member at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  He lives in Copley with his wife, Diana, and their children, Ben and Leah.

A limited number of tickets remain. To purchase tickets visit www.redcross.org/acts18.

Be My Valentine – I Could Save Your Life!

By Rena Large, Volunteer, Citizen CPR Leader

With Valentine’s Day approaching, who isn’t thinking about people they love and the things we do to show them we care?

Maybe it’s not exactly what you had in mind, but one thing I do for the people I love is staying up to date on my CPR and First Aid certification. In my earlier years it was sometimes a requirement – as a babysitter, a camp counselor, a life guard – and later it seemed like a good idea as someone who cared for friends and family members and likes to be prepared for anything.

First Aid for Cleveland

Graphic provided by Doug Bardwell/American Red Cross Volunteer

Speaking of hearts…We all probably know someone who has had a cardiac emergency (maybe even witnessed it happen). Most out-of-hospital cardiac arrests happen in homes, and CPR – especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest – can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. That’s one of the reasons I love Citizen CPR – a free non-certification program that teaches untrained bystanders to perform hands-only compressions, a simple skill that can keep vital blood and oxygen flowing in a cardiac emergency until trained responders arrive. Performing hands-only compressions is easy to remember and doesn’t require mouth-to-mouth rescue breaths or certification (something that deters some people) – all it requires is willingness to act!

Volunteer Citizen CPR Instructor Rena Large teaches MetroHealth employees lifesaving skills.  Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Being a volunteer Citizen CPR instructor in my community is one of the most rewarding things I do. Sometimes people are nervous about the idea – I always hear stories of people witnessing someone having a heart attack at a family reunion or work event and being afraid they will do something wrong if they try to help. Giving them the opportunity to see the skill and practice it takes the mystery away and gives people the confidence that they can do this in an emergency. It means so much to me that I know and can teach others how to save a life. If you aren’t CPR certified, take a moment to learn how to do hands-only compressions; or think about offering a Citizen CPR event in your community or workplace. It might be the most important gift you give this Valentine’s Day and all year long.

Keeping Olympians Safe – And You, Too

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

The Olympics are kicking off today and you know the tagline – “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  Luckily for the Olympians, if they suffer the agony of a bad fall, a broken bone, a concussion or worse; there are at least 80 Olympic physicians to attend to them.

Interestingly enough, the doctors that get picked for the Olympics all had to go through multiple “tryouts” themselves to get there – all done under stressful settings – to see how well they could function working with the world’s best athletes.

But we aren’t in PyeongChang anymore, Dorothy

First Aid for Cleveland

It’s safe to say the Olympic athletes will be well taken care of; but, your friends and your family aren’t in PyeongChang.  All around our country, our children, spouses and ourselves are participating in sports where we can easily get injured. So, who’s going to take care of us when there’s no doctor in sight.

Sure, calling 911 is the best thing to do immediately, but during that response time, you could often be doing more to alleviate suffering, to stabilize an injury, or to prevent further harm.  You could do that, provided you knew some first aid basics.

Okay, but how?

A well-stocked first aid kit is always a great start – one at home and one for your car. Hopefully, that would have all you need to clean a wound and to stop the bleeding.

A knowledge of different type injuries is the next step. Fortunately, there’s a free app for that.  The American Red Cross First Aid app is available for either iPhone or Android.  It not only has a quickly searchable list of accidents, there is also additional reading and quizzes to check your skills. apps

Better yet, check your local Red Cross office for upcoming First Aid classes offered throughout the area. The Red Cross trains more than 9 million people each year, and it’s always best to learn from a certified instructor.

If you are already a trained medical professional, and you have the skills, please consider volunteering to teach one of the classes.

Generosity Flows From Their Veins

Blood Drive at Landerhaven draws hundreds of donors on a winter’s day in Northeast Ohio

 

The annual “Give from the Heart” blood drive at Landerhaven near Cleveland resulted in the donation of 528 units of blood, thanks to the generous donors who braved snow and cold to give the gift of life.

One of those donors was Michelle Polinko, the Regional Development Officer for the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region.

“Giving blood isn’t always easy or convenient, but it’s always the right thing to do,” she said, as Collections Technician Willie Muse worked with good humor to ensure Michelle’s experience was positive. DVXfoKJWAAI51Wl (3)

Also adding to the positive vibe was the food provided by Executive Caterers.

The donations of blood could not have come at a more crucial time, as the Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage. Ongoing winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled Red Cross blood drives, resulting in the blood and platelet donation shortfall. Blood donations are critically needed so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need.

To schedule an appointment for a future blood donation, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org,   or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).