First Goal Attained; But the Work Never Ends

(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/.

Red Cross Workers

Typical Red Cross workroom during WWI – photo courtesy of CTDA

 

 

BASH is a Smash at MAPS

They dressed with military gear, in medical garb and in Hawaiian shirts.  That’s how they roll at BASH every year, and the 2016 version, held on June 4 was no exception.

BASH is a major annual fundraiser for the American Red Cross Stark and Muskingum Lakes Chapter.  All proceeds benefit Northeast Ohio residents who suffer from disasters, such as home fires.  The Red Cross provides immediate financial assistance, health services and mental health counselling when needed, to help people get through their darkest hours.

BASH 2016 generated more than $100,000 for disaster relief, according to Kim Kroh, Executive Director of the Stark and Muskingum Lakes Chapter.  “The community really pulled together. Look at the hundreds of auction items that were donated to make BASH a success this year,” she said. “And we’re really fortunate to have this amazing facility as our venue.”

The MAPS Air Museum in North Canton features a broad collection of vintage aircraft, to help fulfill its mission to educate people on the history of aviation. About 300 people enjoyed the unique setting.

Dedicated volunteers Dick and Earlene Kincaid were honored at this year’s event, for having installed 1,525 smoke alarms in the homes of residents in Stark and Tuscarawas Counties.  “We just want to help people be safe,” said Dick.  Mike Parks, Regional Executive for the Northeast Ohio Region, praised the Kincaids as “the ideal volunteers.”

kincaids honored

Dick and Earlene Kincaid, Kim Kroh and Mike Parks\Photos provided by Cal Pusateri, American Red Cross Volunteer

Did you miss this year’s BASH?  Check in with us at redcross.org/neo, and click on “News and Events” to find out when BASH will be held in 2017.

 

 

 

She Runs Because Help Can’t Wait

For one local woman, what began as a simple way to stay fit has become a wonderful way to give back to the community.

Mucci Run Team 1Jen Mucci started running as a source of exercise after the birth of her son, but it soon grew into a hobby. She began running longer distances and qualified for the prestigious Boston Marathon after completing her first local marathon. Since then, she has run 14 marathons.

And, for each mile she runs, Jen is earning money for the Red Cross. And she is not alone. Jen has grown an amazing team who helps by running relay, half and full marathons – particularly at the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame marathon in Canton. Each year she hosts a kick-off meeting at her home where team members receive a Red Cross shirt to wear during the events. She also invites a speaker to share with the group how the Red Cross services affect so many individuals and families throughout the community.

“We run because help can’t wait,” said Jen. “The real goal is educating people on what the Red Cross does. No one is exempt; there is nothing you can do that precludes you from needing the Red Cross.”

This year her team pledged to earn $15,000 for the Red Cross. To date, she and her band of runners have earned more than $16,000 dollars!

“It’s been great being associated with such a great organization,” said Jen.

To support Jen’s annual fundraising campaign, visit https://www.facebook.com/WeRunForRedCross or visit her at Mainstream Boutique at Washington Square,  for the next scheduled fundraiser on May 20, where 10% of the day’s proceeds will benefit the Red Cross.

Update: Kincaids Surpass 1,100 Smoke Alarms Installed

standing1

Earlene and Dick Kincaid with Heidi, their rescue dog                                                                               Photo credit: Jim  McIntyre/American Red Cross

Tuscarawas County Couple Help Create Safer Neighborhoods

Dick and Earlene Kincaid have been American Red Cross volunteers for nearly eight years. They have responded to hurricanes, tornadoes and floods in Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Alabama as members of the Red Cross National Disaster Action Team, providing hot meals and comfort to thousands of people made suddenly homeless by extreme weather. Their most recent deployment was to Flint, Michigan in response to the water crisis there.

But the work they’ve done in their own backyard has made the biggest impact in the lives of their neighbors.

The Kincaids have installed more than 1,100 smoke alarms in homes in the Stark County and Muskingum Lakes Chapter since October 2015.  In a previous article, posted last December, it was noted that they had installed 750 alarms in fewer than three months. With more than 1,100 installations now to their credit, Dick and Earlene installed more than half the total annual number of smoke alarms for the entire Chapter, in fewer than six months!

Dick wields the drill and installs the alarms while Earlene provides valuable fire safety information to residents. She said, “Most of these people don’t have working smoke alarms, or they don’t have any at all.”   The Kincaids work mostly on weekends, when people are more likely to be home. They spend about 15 minutes in each home, installing alarms on each floor.  And they average about 100 installations a week.

Not bad for a couple who survived a motorcycle crash in 2007.

“I flew like a bird, but my landing sucked,” Dick says with a grin.  Earlene says she rolled better, suffering only a broken shoulder and some scrapes. Dick says he spent 18 days at the Cleveland Clinic, undergoing 5 surgeries to save his leg, and spent another 9 months in a hospital bed in the living room of their home in Magnolia, Ohio.

Dick retired from Timken as a steelworker that same year. Once he got back on his feet, Dick and Earlene Kincaid began their careers as Red Cross volunteers, responding to national disasters and local home fires. But their Operation Save-A-Life efforts are taking up most of their volunteer time now.

“We’ve had people who have had three little kids in a trailer home, and no smoke alarms.  They burn so fast,” Dick says.  “If we can save any lives at all, that’s good enough.”

Canton Area Couple Creates Safer Neighborhoods

 Install Hundreds of Smoke Alarms in Fewer Than Three Months

Dick and Earlene Kincaid have been American Red Cross volunteers for nearly eight years. They have responded to hurricanes, tornadoes and floods in Texas, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Alabama as members of the Red Cross National Disaster Action Team, providing hot meals and comfort to thousands of people made suddenly homeless by extreme weather.

But the work they’ve done this fall in their own backyard has made the biggest impact in the lives of their neighbors.

The Kincaids have single-handedly installed more than 750 smoke alarms in homes in the Stark County and Muskingum Lakes Chapter since October.  This October.  In just over two months time, Dick and Earlene are responsible for achieving more than half the total annual goal of the entire Chapter.

Dick wields the drill and installs the alarms while Earlene provides valuable fire safety information to residents. She said, “Most of these people don’t have working smoke alarms, or they don’t have any at all.”   The Kincaids work mostly on weekends, when people are more likely to be home. They spend about 15 minutes in each home, installing alarms on each floor.  And they average about 100 installations a week.

Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Not bad for a couple who survived a motorcycle crash in 2007.

“I flew like a bird, but my landing sucked,” Dick says with a grin.  Earlene says she rolled better, suffering only a broken shoulder and some scrapes. Dick says he spent 18 days at the Cleveland Clinic, undergoing 5 surgeries to save his leg, and spent another 9 months in a hospital bed in the living room of their Tuscarawas County home.

Dick retired from Timken as a steelworker that same year. Once he got back on his feet, Dick and Earlene Kincaid began their careers as Red Cross volunteers, responding to national disasters and local home fires. But their Operation Save-A-Life efforts are taking up most of their volunteer time now.

“We’ve had people who have had three little kids in a trailer home, and no smoke alarms.  They burn so fast,” Dick says.  ” If we can save any lives at all, that’s good enough.”

Eight-year-old honored for saving sister life

Trinity holds her sister, Londyn, at the school’s assembly in her honor.

On a cold night in March, 8-year-old Trinity Seymour woke to the sound of a blaring smoke detector.  The piercing sound of several smoke alarms was scary to her 3-year-old sister, Londyn who had run into their shared closet while covering her ears. The family had recently moved into the apartment building, however, Trinity’s grandfather, Scott Bentley would not allow his daughter’s family to move in until he purchased and installed three smoke detectors.

Trinity knew what to do.

Red Cross staff member, Tim Reichel, had recently spoken at her school about fire safety.  “Stay calm,” Trinity thought to herself. “Get Londyn and get out of here!”  Trinity went to the closet, consoled Londyn, picked her up and calmly exited the home.   “Mr. Tim says you should stand very far away from the burning building so I told everyone to stand across the street.” The Navarre Fire Department quickly responded to the apartment fire that displaced four families.  The Red Cross was on the scene and provided bedding, clothing, shoes and seasonal clothing to all the families.  In addition, Red Cross volunteers consoled the distraught families and provided much needed hugs and emotional support.

Navarre apartment fire.  Everyone escaped without injury.

Navarre apartment fire. Everyone escaped without injury

A week later, Tim received an email from Trinity’s teacher, Holly Charton.  After explaining Trinity’s home fire and her heroic act in rescuing her sister, Ms. Charton explained, “Her grandpa told me that someone at our school did a fabulous job teaching her what do when there is a fire. I told him that person was Mr. Tim from the Red Cross!”

Tim Reichel fist bumps a Fairless Elementary student.

Tim Reichel fist bumps a Fairless Elementary student.

On March 14, 2015 the Fairless Elementary school held a school assembly to honor Trinity.  As a surprise, her family was there as she received the Certificate of Recognition for Extraordinary Action from the Red Cross and an award from the Navarre Fire Department.  Her story appeared on the front page of the Massillon Independent and on Channel 5 news in Cleveland. At the assembly Grandfather Scott Bentley thanked the school and the Red Cross for educating the students on fire safety.  “Smoke detectors do save lives,” said Bentley.  “After the fire, I stood in the closet where Londyn hid and nothing survived that fire.  Thank god my little girls knew what to do and got out!” Although Trinity is very shy and was overwhelmed with the attention, she did wear her Red Cross medal for the rest of the school day.

Trinity Seymour and Tim Reichel

Trinity Seymour and Tim Reichel