Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster response report: July 4-7, 2019

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio

July 8, 2019- As residents across Northeast Ohio were enjoying barbecues, fireworks, nice weather and the start of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game festivities, the American Red Cross was actively assisting individuals who were experiencing their most difficult moments.

During Independence Day weekend, July 4-7, the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio responded to 13 incidents, including a structural collapse in Lorain. The disaster team assisted 34 adults, 24 children and provided more than $13,000 in immediate financial assistance to help these individuals get back on their feet following the local disaster.

Another weekend incident the disaster team responded to over the holiday weekend, was a home fire resulting from arson on Dudley Avenue in Cleveland.

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Dudley Avenue home fire

“It has been a busy time with home fires recently in Northeast Ohio. We have responded to multiple fires in the last few weeks under suspicion of arson. This is one of the wonderful attributes of this organization. We are so inclusive that we provide assistance to anyone who is in need, despite how the disaster began,” said Ben Bellucci, the disaster program manager for the Greater Cleveland Chapter.

“This past weekend, the volunteers were beyond amazing,” Ben added. “With the average temperatures in the 90s and high humidity, the disaster action team was up at all hours providing light in many individuals’ darkest hours. We can’t do it without our volunteers, and the generosity of our community, who all make it possible.”

Just as disasters do not discriminate in terms of whose lives they destroy; the Red Cross does not discriminate in terms of whose lives we help rebuild. The Red Cross does not turn away people who need assistance after a disaster. We are committed to helping everyone in need.

As the largest humanitarian organization in the world, the Red Cross has the ability to use your donation to reach more people in need, more quickly. Your donation to the Red Cross helps provide food, shelter, relief supplies, emotional support, recovery planning and other assistance during disasters.

To help the Red Cross provide hope and comfort to individuals in Northeast Ohio experiencing their darkest hours, please visit our Crowdrise page to provide a financial donation. Any amount donated truly helps with their recovery.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day highlights need to fill Missing Types

By Glinda Dames Fincher

June 16, 2019- My name is Glinda Dames Fincher and I have lived with sickle cell disease for 60 years. Today is World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.

Sickle cell disease affects red blood cells. It makes them hard and sickle shaped instead of soft and round. As a result, blood has difficulty flowing smoothly through the blood vessels and carrying oxygen to the rest of the body.  This causes severe anemia and excruciating pain called sickle cell crisis.

Because of my illness, I depend on blood donors giving blood on a regular basis. As part of my treatment, I receive monthly red cell exchange transfusions. I receive two pints of red blood cells during each of these transfusions. If I have to undergo a major surgery, I receive a total exchange transfusion, which requires about seven to nine units of red cells. I have received regular blood transfusions for the last 20 years to help manage my sickle cell disease. Without donated blood, sickle cell patients face sickle cell crisis, and other complications such as strokes, organ failure, chronic wounds, and shortened lifespan.

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Glinda Dames Fincher speaks at the the Missing Types campaign kick-off at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland

Since most of those with sickle cell in the U.S. are of African and Latino descent, those who receive frequent blood transfusions need blood from those of their same race in order to decrease the chances of the patient having a reaction to the red cells. African American and Latino blood donors are greatly needed to provide the lifesaving transfusions needed not only by those with sickle cell, but also those with other diseases such as cancer, kidney failure and other chronic disorders.”

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I encourage everyone to help fill the Missing Types this summer. Sickle cell disease is the most common inherited blood disorder in the US and the world, with about 100,000 with the disease in the US, and an estimated 10 million with the disease worldwide and 100 million carriers of the sickle gene which they may pass on to their children. More blood donors are needed now. Join the American Red Cross and give blood to ensure patients like myself, and so many others, have the lifesaving treatment we need.

Do your part to help fill the missing types this summer and help save lives by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/MissingTypes to schedule a donation appointment today.

#Help1family affected by a disaster this Giving Day

March 27, 2019 – Have you ever wondered how much it costs to help a family affected by a disaster, such as a home fire? Have you wanted to provide support but figured there was nothing you could do?

Following a year of record disasters, the American Red Cross is asking everyone to #help1family today, March 27, on Red Cross Giving Day.

EVERY 8 MINUTES, DONATIONS HELP FAMILIES

207701-05-Giving-Day-2019-Social-Media-1200x1200-FB3Every eight minutes, the Red Cross helps someone affected by a disaster. Last year, Red Cross disaster workers—90 percent of whom were volunteers—helped millions of people during a second consecutive year of record wildfires, hurricanes, tragic shootings and other large crises—all while responding day and night to home fires in communities across the country.

In fact, home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster—often, devastating homes, livelihoods and cherished possessions. Just in January and February of this year, Red Cross volunteers across the country responded to almost 11,000 home fires, assisting nearly 33,000 people affected by these fires. In Northeast Ohio, the Red Cross responds to three home fires, on average, every 24 hours.

#HELP1FAMILY ON MARCH 27

You can provide hope to people across Northeast Ohio affected by local disasters by donating on Red Cross Giving Day, a 24-hour fundraising campaign. Our goal is to help 25,000 families affected by home fires or other disasters, and we need your support. Visit redcross.org/givingday to provide urgent relief, like food, shelter and other essentials for families who need it most. You can also give by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10, or by saying, “Alexa, make a donation to Red Cross Giving Day” on your Alexa-enabled device.

  • Support a family in urgent need for one day: A gift of $88.50 can provide a family of three with a day’s worth of food, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus blankets and other essentials in the aftermath of a disaster.
  • Supply warm meals: A donation of $60 can help provide six people with a nourishing meal that includes a main course, snacks and drinks to those impacted by disasters.
  • Deliver cozy blankets: A gift of $30 can ensure that children and families stay warm and can get a good night’s sleep with six comforting blankets.

You can also use the hashtag #help1family on your social media accounts to let others know you are supporting families in need and to encourage others to donate on Giving Day.207701-05-Giving-Day-2019-Social-Media-1200x1200-FB

The Red Cross is grateful for any generous support to help people in need on Giving Day and throughout the year. During March, we honor the volunteer heroes who fuel our lifesaving work every day—a tradition dating back more than 75 years, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt first proclaimed March as Red Cross Month to raise awareness for our humanitarian mission.

On behalf of the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio, thank you for considering a donation. Your generosity will help a family recover from one of the worst experiences of their lifetime.

Do you hear it? Sound the Alarm is coming

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

March 18, 2019 – Mark your calendar. It’s coming.

April 27 through May 12 are the dates for the 2019 Sound the Alarm campaign.

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This spring, the American Red Cross needs your help to install 100,000 free smoke alarms and raise funds for lifesaving services in more than 100 cities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events.

And, to quasi-quote Smokey the Bear, “Only you can help ensure our success.” One day of your time might be the difference that saves a family’s lives.

Every day, seven people die in home fires and the Red Cross wants to do everything we can to prevent these needless tragedies. That’s why we launched our Home Fire Campaign.

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Volunteer participants work alongside fire departments and other local groups, canvassing at-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, educate families about fire prevention and safety, and fund raise to help sponsor this lifesaving mission.

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It’s a perfect time to grab your family, your friends and your neighbors to come along and do a good deed installing smoke alarms. You needn’t be a Red Cross volunteer or employee to work these events. Instructions, tools and supplies are all provided the day of the event.

Last year, during the inaugural Sound the Alarm event, more than 103,000 smoke alarms were installed in 43,000 homes nationally over a three-week period. There was also an impact locally. In Northeast Ohio, during the same three-week period, 350 volunteers installed 2,500 alarms in more than 900 homes.

To date, there are 511 lives that have been saved because of smoke alarms installed during previous Sound the Alarm events. More than 1.5 million free smoke alarms have been installed to date.

To find upcoming Sound the Alarm installation events and to sign-up to volunteer to an event near you, visit SoundTheAlarm.org/NEO.

Unable to attend?  You can always make a donation that helps educate families and children about home safety. A donation can also provide food, shelter and comfort to those who’ve lost their home to a fire.

Donate today at https://www.redcross.org/donate/home-fire-campaign.html/ or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer.

All photos by Doug Bardwell.

 

Winner winner, chicken dinner – thousands of them!

By Karen Conklin, Executive Director, Lake to River Chapter

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Working for the Red Cross provides wonderful opportunities to use our creative skills.

Recently I got a call from an over the road trucker who wanted to give us chickens – 3,200 chickens. Yes, that is the number he was offering – 3,200 ready to cook, whole chickens. It seems the birds were originally destined for Walmart, but the expiration date was two weeks out; Walmart declined them.  The driver had tried the local homeless mission and another organization with no luck.

Let’s face it…that is a lot of chickens!

The driver was on his way to the American Red Cross office in Jefferson County when he called with his generous offer. I was able to connect him with the Food Bank in Youngstown, and he was happy to make the drive to pass the chickens on to someone.  OK, anyone!

End of story:  3,200 families can now get a free chicken thanks to the power of the Red Cross brand and the power of community connections.

This incident clearly falls in my job description under “other duties as assigned.”

Editor’s note: While we don’t deliver chickens, we do have volunteer positions available for drivers to pick-up and deliver lifesaving blood products.  Visit redcross.org/volunteer to learn more about volunteer opportunities available.  And you can hear from current volunteers and staff members in person at one of our upcoming volunteer information sessions:

  • Cleveland (3747 Euclid Ave), March 6th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm
  • Cleveland (3747 Euclid Ave), March 9th from 10:00 – 11:00 am
  • Akron (501 W Market St), March 13th from 5:30 – 6:30 pm
  • Akron (501 W Market St), March 16th from 10:00 – 11:00 am

RSVP to Melanie Collins at melanie.collins4@redcross.org, or call 330-204-6615.

Bleed for the Throne: The Red Cross is calling on all Game of Thrones fans to donate blood

February 21, 2019 – Arya, Cersei, Jon and Tyrion, have all bled for the throne. To celebrate the final season of Game of Thrones, the American Red Cross and HBO have forged an alliance, challenging superfans and donors to show their devotion and bleed for the throne as well.

The Red Cross and HBO invite all fans of the hit show to join us by scheduling your blood or platelet donation today, and you could find out who’ll bleed in season 8 before the rest of the world!

Winter is here. With thousands of blood donations uncollected due to snow
storms and extreme cold over the past couple of months, the Red Cross and
HBO urge individuals to roll up a sleeve and give blood as soon as possible to
ensure critical medical treatments or emergency care are not delayed or
canceled.

“We are incredibly excited to mobilize the global army of Game of Thrones fans to make a positive impact on the world” said Zach Enterlin, Executive Vice President, Program Marketing, HBO. “In partnership with the American Red Cross, we’re creating a unique platform to engage our tremendously passionate fanbase, and ultimately showcase the bravery and valor of those fans who will go so far as to bleed for the throne.”

“The American Red Cross is thrilled to partner with HBO and Game of Thrones. Every day, thousands of patients across the country are dependent on voluntary blood donors to help them fight for their lives,” said Cliff Numark, Senior Vice President, American Red Cross Blood Services. “Winter is finally here, and the needs are dire. No matter who you’re rooting for to take the throne, you can be a hero for patients in need.”

GOT T-shirtIf you donate blood from now until March 17, you’ll automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five trips to the season 8 world premiere of Game of Thrones! The trip includes travel for two, up to two nights hotel accommodations and a $250 gift card for expenses.

In addition, if you donate from March 7-12, you’ll also receive this exclusive Game of Thrones T-shirt and sticker with a unique Snapchat filter, while supplies last!

Schedule your donation today and start thinking about which lucky friend or family member might accompany you to the premiere!

So, there’s only one question remaining. How far will you go #ForTheThrone?

To find upcoming Northeast Ohio blood drives and to schedule your donation  and to read the terms and conditions, please visit RedCrossBlood.org/HBOGameofThrones.

Emergency need: Donors urged to give blood and platelets now

January 16, 2019 – A donation shortfall over the winter holidays is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to give now Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care. The Red Cross collected more than 27,000 fewer blood and platelet donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply, as busy holiday schedules kept many donors away.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

You can help!

  1. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
  2. Let your friends and family know there is an emergency need for blood and platelet donors and ask them to #GiveNow.
  3. Bring someone to donate with you.
  4. Host a blood drive so others can give – be it at your office location, place of worship or community organization.

Your support can help ensure that blood products are there for trauma victims, premature babies, patients going through cancer treatment and others who depend on transfusions for survival.

The hospitals that rely on blood and blood products collected by the Red Cross regularly hold blood drives of their own. One such hospital is the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Blood Donation 2018

From the days of Clara Barton and our founding, the Red Cross has had a strong relationship with members of the military, veterans and their families.  Every day, the Red Cross’ Service to the Armed Forces provides 24/7 global emergency communication services and support in military and veteran health care facilities across the country and around the world. Furthermore, Susan Fuehrer, director of the Northeast Ohio VA healthcare system, also serves on the Red Cross’ Greater Cleveland board of directors.

On February 1 from 7 AM to 5 PM, the Cleveland VA Medical Center will be hosting a blood drive, which is open to the public.

Are you unable to donate on February 1st, but have space on your calendar on February 12th to give life? Well, you are in luck!  Landerhaven in Mayfield Heights will be hosting its annual blood drive, which is the largest in the region. The blood drive will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at 6111 Landerhaven Drive from 7 AM-7 PM.

Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives. Don’t wait to help. Give now.