Interested in giving back to your community? Come to a Red Cross Volunteer Session!

By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross Volunteer

January 23, 2020- Are you interested in making a difference in your community by assisting individuals in need?

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The American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio has a critical need for volunteers to respond to local disasters, to assist at blood drives and to transport lifesaving blood.

Louisiana Floods 2016

The Red Cross will be holding informational sessions across Northeast Ohio to help you learn about the many ways you can make a difference as a Red Cross volunteer. You’ll hear from current volunteers and have an opportunity to ask questions. We’ll also have volunteer applications available at the sessions.

California Wildfires 2019

Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga County Sessions

Saturday, January 25th and Saturday, February 29th

10-11 AM

Red Cross Regional Headquarters

3747 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH

Summit, Portage and Media County Sessions

Saturday, February 1st and Saturday, March 1st

10-11 AM

Red Cross Akron Office

501 W. Market St., Akron, OH

Ashtabula, Columbiana, Jefferson, Mahoning, Trumbull County Session

Wednesday, February 19th

8:30-10:30 AM

Hoge’s Restaurant

16128 E Liverpool Rd., East Liverpool, OH

To RSVP for one of the information sessions above, contact Gail Wernick at 216-431-3328 or gail.wernick@redcross.org.

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Can’t make it to a volunteer session, but interested in volunteering? Click here to visit our volunteer page to learn more about volunteering with the Red Cross and to submit a volunteer application.

Red Cross Summer Youth Corps offers enriching opportunities for those from 13 to 24 years of age

By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer

January 17, 2020- While 2020 has just begun, it’s a good time for young people to consider summer volunteer opportunities. The American Red Cross is proud to offer its Summer Youth Corps program, a meaningful, rewarding experience for those 13-24 years of age to help save lives and assist their communities. Participants also gain valuable training, work experience, skill development, and networking opportunities to help them prepare for their futures.

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Those taking part in the Summer Youth Corps will serve as Red Cross Blood Drive Ambassadors. After training and orientation, they will be able to volunteer at blood drives being held throughout Northern Ohio between May 1 and August 31. The requirement is 10 shifts. Participants provide their own transportation to and from the drive, and a Parental Consent Form is needed for those 17 and under.

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Red Cross Blood Drive Ambassadors have a range of customer service and other responsibilities. These include:

  • Engaging with blood donors, creating a favorable impression of the Red Cross, and helping develop a long-term commitment to regular blood donations.
  • Making reminder calls, rescheduling donor appointments, and performing follow up activities.
  • Welcoming and greeting donors, escorting as necessary, and assisting with initial intake and hand offs through the blood donation process.
  • Ensuring blood donors have relevant information and that questions are answered appropriately.
  • Attending to donors in the Hospitality Area, ensuring each is recognized for his or her contribution.
  • Displaying the utmost professionalism and communication skills.
  • Learning and sharing the Red Cross story, including the mission, vision, and values.

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Volunteering as a Blood Drive Ambassador offers a number of benefits. A few of these include:

  • A letter of reference, which can greatly assist with future plans, including college and job applications.
  • Documented community service hours.
  • The opportunity to work directly with medical staff.
  • The ability to build customer service skills, especially with the provided training.
  • Valuable work experience to help prepare for the future.
  • Networking and meeting new people.
  • The feeling of helping save lives and contributing to your community.

Sound the Alarm Fulton

Volunteering with the Red Cross in any capacity is a deeply rewarding experience. The Summer Youth Corps offers enriching opportunities and the ability to help people and communities. If you or your children would like more information or to apply for the program, please go to redcrossblood.org or contact Gail Wernick at gail.wernick@redcross.org or 216-431-3328.

Enjoy the open road as you help save lives

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

January 10, 2020- Do you enjoy the freedom of driving on the open road? Are you always volunteering to drive around family and friends? Are you looking for an opportunity to help save lives, while enjoying your love of driving? Well, you are in luck!

Volunteer Couriers

The American Red Cross is currently looking for passionate drivers to serve as volunteer transportation specialists in Cuyahoga County. This unique opportunity allows volunteers to support blood pick-up at both mobile and fixed site blood drives in Cuyahoga County.

The Red Cross collects and distributes about 40% of our nation’s blood supply. As a volunteer transportation specialist, when you pick up blood, platelets or other blood products from a blood collection site or deliver them to a hospital, you’re delivering lifesaving hope to a person in need.

Volunteer Couriers

Still not sure if this is quite the right fit? Listen to Peter Hoffman, one of the transportation specialists in Cuyahoga County. Hear why Peter volunteers with the Red Cross, some of his tasks and the feeling he gets from helping others in need.

For more information and to apply to become a volunteer transportation specialist, visit redcross.org/volunteer or call 216-431-3328.

 

Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster report: January 3-5, 2020

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

January 6, 2020- For many in Northeast Ohio, the first weekend of a new year serves as a time to take down remaining holiday decorations, get a start on new resolutions and catching up on rest following the the holiday rush. However, for some, the new year can be a time to cope with loss and trying to rebuild.

This weekend, January 3-5, the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio responded to nine separate home fires in Cuyahoga, Richland, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties.

Louisiana Floods 2016

Disaster Action Team (DAT) members assisted, 18 adults, 21 children and provided over $8,500 in immediate financial assistance to help individuals experiencing the worst days of their lives attempt to rebuild their lives.

 

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 redcross.org/donate to provide a financial donation. Any amount donated truly helps with their recovery.

Hurricane Barry 2019

Volunteers are the face of the Red Cross. Without their tremendous and selfless dedication, we would not be able to serve the 22 counties and 4.5 million residents of Northeast Ohio.

Be one of the many volunteers that make up 90 percent of the Red Cross’ workforce and help others in need in your local community by becoming a Red Cross volunteer today.  Visit redcross.org/volunteer to learn more and to apply

Volunteers celebrating volunteers

By Kim Kroh, Stark and Muskingum Lakes executive director

December 26, 2019- Stark and Muskingum Lakes volunteer, Barb Thomas, was attending a disaster services department meeting earlier this month and was looking for ways to inspire, uplift, and build camaraderie among the disaster team. ‘Tis the season, and what better way to recognize volunteers than to host a holiday party.  She laughs, saying she may have overextended herself because only 4 disaster volunteers (out of 20) raised a hand indicating an interest in attending a holiday party.

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Nonetheless, Barb got right to work, and her first step was recruiting helpers. Tom and Gwen Johnson eagerly volunteered to assist. Planning was officially underway, and the invitations were distributed. Tom hung all the decorations, and being 6’3”, he was perfect for the job. Gwen used her handy scrapbooking tool to punch out dozens of snowflakes, and Barb made a keepsake ornament for every volunteer.

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Together they transformed the disaster services office into a space with intimate ambiance, colorful lighting, snowflakes, holiday trees, and festive tinsel spiraling down from the rafters. Appetizers, desserts, and punch were on the menu and each volunteer brought a dessert or appetizer to share. The invitation also requested the volunteers to wear an ugly Christmas sweater and holy moly, there were some doozies!

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All in all, more than 30 people attended the party, sharing laughs and creating new memories. Job well done Barb! You were very successful in building camaraderie and reminding our volunteers, being one yourself, just how valuable you are to YOUR American Red Cross!!

Happy Holidays from CEO Mike Parks

December 25, 2019- As residents across Northeast Ohio gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays, Regional CEO Mike Parks has issued his annual holiday message.

Watch the message below to learn about the impact the Red Cross has made in the lives of those affected by disasters in 2019 and Mike Parks’ hope for 2020:

Also, Regional CEO Parks experienced what he considers to be a miracle one week before Christmas Eve.  And one week before Christmas, several children who went through the trauma of a home fire in 2019 experienced the miracle of holiday gifts, thanks to generous employees of TravelCenters of America and Red Cross volunteers.

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Listen to a special holiday episode of the Red Cross of Northeast Ohio’s podcast Be A Hero, where Mike Parks discusses his experience and the miracles the volunteers of the Red Cross perform every day. Listeners can subscribe to Be A Hero on Apple podcasts and Spotify.

Happy Birthday, Clara, you really started something

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

December 24, 2019- One hundred ninety-eight years ago, Clarissa (Clara) Harlowe Barton was born on Christmas Day, 1821 in Oxford, Massachusetts.

Many of her skills and interests reflect the services afforded by today’s American Red Cross, the organization she founded in 1881 and served for 23 years as its president. Each of the four main lines of service here in Northeast Ohio can be traced back to her influence.

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Teaching life safety, swimming and first aid classes

Clara started teaching when she was just 15 years old. Shortly thereafter, she moved from Massachusetts to New Jersey and opened a free public school. The Red Cross has been offering classes to the public since the early 1900s.

Blood services

As a nurse, when the Civil War erupted, Clara was determined to help however she could, experiencing combat first at Fredericksburg, and eventually earning the nickname, “Angel of the Battlefield.”

The Red Cross eventually developed the first nationwide civilian blood program in the 1940s. We now provide more than 40 percent of the blood products in this country.

Service to the military and their families

As the Civil War concluded in 1865, Clara was authorized by President Lincoln to open The Office of Correspondence with Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army to identify the fate of missing soldiers for grieving parents, family and friends. In 1867, when Clara closed the office, 63,183 letters had been answered and 22,000 missing men were identified.

When the Red Cross was first chartered by Congress in 1900, the organization’s primary mission was to provide services to the members of the American armed forces. Just since Sept. 11, 2001, the Red Cross has served more than 1 million military families during deployments and emergencies.

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Disaster response

In addition to helping the military, our congressional charter also mandates that the Red Cross provide disaster relief in the United States and around the world.

It’s a hard fact to comprehend but somewhere in the country, we respond to an emergency every eight minutes. That’s 24 hours per day, seven days per week and 52 weeks a year that our disaster teams are available to answer the call of those in need.

If Clara was still alive today, shed be calling you

To render all these services, the Red Cross depends on volunteers. Today there’s a significant need for volunteers to staff our disaster response teams.

If you could afford to be on call four times per month, you could experience the ultimate satisfaction of helping someone in their most desperate hour of need. There’s no greater feeling than to bring assistance to someone who has lost everything they own in a home fire. Consider volunteering by starting your online application here.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer