Sometimes all you want is to strip off the day by taking a shower.
That is especially true for those who experience a disaster such as a home fire.
When Red Cross volunteers respond to the scene, the affected individuals immediate needs are assessed. Will they have access to shelter, food and clothing? Are there any other needs, like eyeglasses or medication, that were lost during the event?
Very often, before volunteers leave, the families will be handed a small bag with “Compliments of the American Red Cross” printed on it. The contents of which can help them begin to feel a little better. These items – shaving cream, razor, toothbrush, shampoo, soap – will help wash away the day so that they can start to focus on their recovery.
Aubrey Helmuth Miller, a Canton-area artisan, wanted to find a way to use her craft to contribute to her community. She took the trimmings of her natural REDBUDSUDS soaps, that would have been discarded as part of the process, and tucked them in to a small muslin bag and brought them to Disaster Program Manager, Tim Reichel at the Stark and Muskingum Lakes Chapter.
Now each family and individual that receives a Red Cross comfort kit, will also receive a satchel of clean comfort courtesy of REDBUDSUDS and Aubrey.
Thank you, Aubrey!
More than 80 residents of an apartment complex in North Randall received help from Red Cross workers on Tuesday, February 14.
After firefighters responded to an apartment fire at the North Randall Estates, building inspectors had to determine whether it was safe to let residents back in their homes.
Red Cross workers opened a reception center in a Community Room, where waiting residents were given food and comfort.
“They calmed everyone down and walked us through what we need to do,” said resident Ricky Tunstall. “They were sympathetic to our needs.”
Red Cross volunteers arrived on the scene shortly after the fire was reported mid-morning, and stayed well into the night, determining the needs of the residents, and trying to fill those needs.
Many residents given immediate financial assistance. The Red Cross distributed almost $7,000 to help people pay for a hotel room, or to buy food or other necessities.
One resident spent the night in a Red Cross shelter.
On average, the Red Cross responds to three home fires every 24 hours in Northeast Ohio. While all Red Cross disaster assistance is free, we rely on the generosity of donors to help us provide that assistance for disasters big and small. Donations to help fund Red Cross disaster relief efforts can be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or by logging onto redcross.org/neo. A text-to-give option is also available. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
The 19th annual Give From the Heart Blood Drive held Tuesday, February 7 at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven was a great success. This drive is one of the largest in the Region and comes at an important time, as the Red Cross is facing a winter blood shortage.
Despite periods of heavy rain and patches of dense fog, more than 570 donors came to give and the blood drive collected 536 pints of blood.
Each pint has the potential to help save three lives.
Our partners at WTAM 1100AM were on-site for live news reports and interviews about the event and the station promoted the drive throughout the day. Cleveland 19 TV also came to the drive to shoot video and ran stories during their newscasts, encouraging donations.
All presenting donors received a goody bag filled with gifts from sponsors, a $5 Amazon gift card claim code and enjoyed gourmet food courtesy of Executive Caterers.
If you weren’t able to donate at Landerhaven, You can schedule an appointment at the location most convenient to you on the Red Cross Blood App, or by logging onto redcrossblood.org, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
Be sure to watch for the 20th annual Give from the Heart Blood Drive at Landerhaven next year!
(Looking back 100 years at the Stark and Muskingum Lakes Chapter)
By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross Volunteer
As the nation prepared to celebrate Independence Day, Tuscarawas County was celebrating the formation of their new Red Cross Chapter. Organized at the beginning of July 1917, the chapter’s initial goal was to raise $30,000 locally.
By this time, the national goal of reaching $100-million had already been attained, but as Red Cross State Secretary D.C. Daugherty explained, “The needs of the Red Cross in doing its great work of mercy are so enormous that every dollar given, no matter how much over the stipulated amount asked, can be used advantageously in its humanitarian mission of relief and succor to suffering humanity, whether its distress be from war, pestilence, famine, flood or fire or any other form of disaster.”
During war time, Daugherty explained that the Red Cross was responsible for maintaining hospitals at the front, base hospitals, convalescent hospitals, as well as hospital ships and hospital trains. In addition, the Red Cross assists Y.M.C.A. recreation camps, extends relief to soldiers’ dependents, and aids the thousands of homeless and helpless victims of war.
Understanding that not only would people abroad be helped, but also the Red Cross would be there for the hometown boys from New Philadelphia, the newly formed chapter was eager to begin doing what it could. Typical for the time, men formed committees to raise cash donations, and the women began sewing projects to provide hospital supplies.
A workroom was opened in Eagle Hall, above the New Philadelphia City Council offices, for the volunteer women workers. Open four days a week from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., the workroom was equipped with sewing machines, tables and chairs. Women were told to bring their own scissors, and they began making hospital supplies and articles of comfort for the soldiers.
Not unlike today, con artists must have been a problem for these early volunteer organizations as well.
On July 3, 1917 a statement was issued in the Daily Times of New Philadelphia, from the national headquarters of the American Red Cross, denouncing the use of chain letters and similar methods of raising money. Members and friends of the Red Cross were urged to neither donate nor assist those fostering such schemes.
Today, you can rest assured that donations made to the Red Cross are well spent. In addition, did you know that the Red Cross now also accepts used automobiles as donations? Learn more at https://neoredcross.org/donate/.
More Lives Saved Across the Country Thanks to Smoke Alarms, Education
159. That is the number of documented lives saved as of the close of 2016, thanks to the Home Fire Campaign, which the Red Cross rolled out nationwide in 2014.
The campaign is modeled after Operation Save-A-Life, which began as a partnership between the Cleveland Fire Department and the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the Red Cross in 1992.
The 25th anniversary of Operation Save-A Life will be recognized at the 2017 Red Cross Fire and Ice Ball, which takes place on March 25 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Cleveland.
Together with corporations, community groups and other partners, the Red Cross provides residents with valuable fire safety information and installs free smoke alarms in homes where they are needed.
“Thanks to the tireless work of our volunteers, employees, local fire departments, and other partners in the Home Fire Campaign, today we celebrate 159 documents lives saved,” said Harvey Johnson, Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services.
Partners helping the Red Cross achieve its goal of reducing deaths and injury due to home fires by 25% range from the employees of Lincoln Electric to a group of missionaries from the Akron Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Eight elders of the church recently installed 60 alarms in the homes of people in need.
“The group is very dedicated, said Debbie Chitester, Disaster Program Manager for the Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties Chapter. “I have worked with missionaries on disaster operations across the country. They always come through for us and the people we serve.”
Your group can be a part of Operation Save-A-Life in Northeast Ohio by sponsoring a smoke alarm installation project. Log onto redcross.org/neoosal, and click on your county to register.
The smoke alarms you install could be the next ones that save a life.
The timing couldn’t be better.
The 19th annual American Red Cross Give from the Heart Blood Drive takes place on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at Landerhaven. It is the largest one day blood drive in Ohio, and it comes at a time when an urgent appeal for blood has been issued due to a severe winter blood shortage.
Call 1-800 RED CROSS to schedule your appointment, or log onto redcrossblood.org and use the sponsor code Landerhaven, or click here to make an appointment. You can also download the Red Cross Blood App to make your appointment. All donors will receive free gifts from the many sponsors participating, and can enjoy live entertainment and gourmet food offered by Executive Caterers.
Photos from the Give from the Heart Blood Drive at Landerhaven in 2016.
Photo credit: Mary Williams/American Red Cross
Landerhaven is located at 6111 Landerhaven Drive, Mayfield Heights, OH, 44124.