Giving Day Gives You a Chance to #help1family

Donate Now Through Giving Day, March 28, 2018

By Patrick Kunklier, Communications Volunteer and Board Member

Once a year, Giving Day brings American Red Cross supporters together to help families who have been impacted by a home fire or other disaster, such as floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Together, we provide urgently needed Red Cross services to help families get back on their feet.

Your Giving Day gift can provide hope and critical relief, like food, supplies, shelter and other essentials to people who need it most.

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Disaster Program Manager Jeremy Bayer offers Mickey Mouse toys to children, following a fire in their home in Cleveland.

“The Red Cross 2018 Giving Day goal is to help 25,000 families. Your support provides families with food, blankets, and other essentials,” said Mike Parks, CEO of the Northeast Ohio Region.  “And you don’t have to wait until March 28 to be part of Giving Day. Whether you donate $10 or $500 or more, the tax-deductible gift you make today will count toward the Red Cross Giving Day goal.”

Parks added, “Please also encourage your family and friends to give a gift to help the families who urgently need Red Cross assistance after a home fire or other disaster.”

Click here to donate. Donations made via this link for Red Cross Giving Day will be used for Red Cross Disaster Relief, which supports victims of big and small disasters. Check out this video to see exactly how donations to disaster relief are used.

And use #help1family on your social media accounts to let others know you’re supporting Giving Day.

If you have any questions, please contact Red Cross Donor Services at 1-800-RED-CROSS or submit your request via the financial donation inquiry form so that your inquiry is promptly addressed.

On behalf of the families you will help, thank you for your generosity.

 

On Being a Phone Bank Volunteer for Hurricane Harvey Relief

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross Volunteer 

Your alarm goes off at 4:30 a.m. and its pitch-dark outside. You shower, shave, fill your travel mug with coffee and head for the garage. Traffic is amazingly light at 6:00 a.m., which is one of the benefits of starting so early, you tell yourself.

You and seven of your fellow Red Crossers are heading to the Cleveland ABC affiliate – WEWS Channel 5 TV, for the start of an all-day Hurricane Harvey fund raiser.  Only the all-night anchors are here, so there’s plenty of parking spaces to choose from.

graphiconscreenThe studio is all set for us.  Tables are arranged, phones are ready and a large flat screen announces the Red Cross website URL, phone number and text information for a quick pledge.

One-by-one, Red Cross volunteers, employees and even a board member file in and take their place at the tables.  Four shifts are planned, so plenty of people can take part in this 6:00 a.m until 11:00 p.m. phone bank effort.Thursday phonebank

In fact, this is our second phone bank. Three days prior, another group of volunteers manned the phones from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. and were inundated with calls. “It was non-stop calling,” one volunteer said. “As soon as you hung up the call, there was another one ringing on the same line.”

 

Tuesday phone bank

The cameraman comes in and suggests a slight modification to our seating arrangement.  We’ve begun the countdown to going ‘On Air.’

“We’re live in ten seconds,” says the cameraman, and we are off, fielding phone calls from across Northeastern Ohio.

By this time, there’s probably no one in America that hasn’t heard about the devastation being wrought upon Texas and Louisiana.  News anchors compare the total rainfall to the amount of water in Lake Michigan, and another asks you to visualize the amount of water flowing over the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls. Now consider that flow for nine months straight, and you’ve got an idea how much water fell in just a few days in Texas.

“Oh my,” says the first caller. “Thank you for doing this for those poor people.  I only wish I could give more.  They must need so much help.”

Another caller is so distraught that she asks for a few seconds to collect herself, before completing her credit card information.  Actually, many of the callers were quite emotional, knowing the stress and anguish being felt by the thousands of victims.

“I don’t know what those people would do if it weren’t for the Red Cross and the other agencies down there,” says another.  This was a recurrent theme all morning.

By the end of the first shift, you start to compare numbers of callers and amounts raised. Amounts donated ranged from $10 to $1,000 this morning.  Even larger amounts were reported from that first phone bank and possibly will be duplicated later in the day. Northeast Ohio has always been famous for its immense generosity whenever a need like this occurs, and it’s a great privilege to help out those so desperately in need.

You turn over your phone to the next volunteer, already missing the opportunity to talk with more like-minded Ohioans, bound to make a difference for the victims in Texas and Louisiana.

Won’t you join us? The American Red Cross is always looking for more volunteers. Sign up today to donate or to volunteer at http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer. 

 

 

 

Reporting for Duty: Mike Parks Deploying to Louisiana

Mike Parks, CEO of the Northeast Ohio Region, is deploying to Louisiana.

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NEO CEO Mike Parks, addressing Red Cross workers during flood relief work in West Virginia in July, 2016

“The situation in Louisiana remains critical,” said Parks.  “People need help right now. This is who we are as the Red Cross, caring servants. I am proud to join over 2,500 Red Cross workers – 13 of whom are from Northeast Ohio – already in Louisiana.”

Each day, the Red Cross is able to get into more and more neighborhoods, and volunteers are working tirelessly to provide assistance. More than 90 Red Cross response vehicles, including 2 from Northeast Ohio, are fanning through affected neighborhoods to distribute food, water and relief supplies. Disaster mental health and health services volunteers are providing emotional support and helping to replace things like lost eyeglasses, wheelchairs and medications.

Some residents remain in shelters.

Since the onset of flooding in Louisiana, the Red Cross and partners have provided more than 55,000 overnight stays in emergency shelters. At the peak of the floods, more than 50 shelters provided safety for more than 10,000 people.In addition, more than 466,000 meals and snacks have been served.

“Our help is just beginning. We will be there to help people recover in the weeks and months to come. We ask people to please consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today to support the people of Louisiana.”

Learn more here how the Red Cross is giving people a place to go when there is no place to go through the words of one woman who has lost everything.

HOW TO HELP People can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recovery from these disasters.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER To join us, visit redcross.org/neo and click on VOLUNTEER today to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.

 

NEO Red Cross Continues to Support Victims in Louisiana

According to meteorologists, more than 6.9 trillion gallons of rain – enough water to fill 10.4 million Olympic pools – deluged Louisiana this week.

On Wednesday night, more than 4,100 people were still seeking refuge in 30 Red Cross and community shelters in Louisiana. And the flooding danger is not over. More rain is falling in Louisiana and flood waters are moving down-river, which could cause damage in new areas. The Red Cross is closely monitoring the situation to be ready to mount an additional response if necessary.

Red Cross volunteers – including 16 from right here in Northeast Ohio – continue to help thousands of people in Louisiana in what is the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Superstorm Sandy in 2012. This response is anticipated to cost at least $30 million – and this number may grow as we learn more about the scope and magnitude of the devastation.

The flooding in Louisiana has left many areas without power and phone service, making it difficult for loved ones to connect. Local emergency lines have also been inundated with calls for help. The Red Cross has two ways to help families reconnect:

  • The Red Cross Emergency App features a “Family Safe” feature that allows people to check on loved ones who are in an area affected by an emergency and instantly see if they are okay – even if that loved one hasn’t downloaded the App on their device. The App is free and can be found in the app store for your mobile device by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.
  • The Red Cross is encouraging people to register on our Safe and Well website, www.redcross.org/safeandwell, to help people reconnect. If you are concerned about a loved one, visit the “Search” page, enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number or complete address. If you are outside the disaster area and you hear from loved ones without access to a computer, you can register them through Safe and Well. That way, other loved ones can be reassured as well.

Large disasters like this flooding create more needs than any one organization can meet, and the Red Cross is working closely with the entire response community – federal, state, county and local agencies, other non-profit organizations, churches, area businesses and others – to coordinate relief efforts and deliver help quickly and efficiently, keeping in mind the diverse needs of the community.

The Red Cross urgently needs the public to join us in supporting Louisiana by making a financial donation today. Help people affected by the Louisiana Floods by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word LAFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.

 

Dozens of Residents Receive Red Cross Assistance Following Fires

Disaster Workers Busy As Time Change Kicks-in

Discarded Smoke Alarms Photo credit: Jim McIntyre, American Red Cross

Discarded Smoke Alarms
Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

On a weekend when fire officials joined the Red Cross in urging residents to test their smoke alarms, more than a dozen home fires in the Northeast Ohio Region affected more than 50 residents who received Red Cross assistance.

There were no injuries reported.

“Our teams were incredibly busy assisting families throughout the entire region,” said Renee Palagyi, Senior Program Manager for Disaster Services. The Red Cross assisted residents affected by home fires that occurred in eight counties from Friday, October 30 through early Monday morning, November 2, 2015. Among them was a fire in East Cleveland that displaced a family of 12, and a duplex fire in Elyria that chased two families from their homes on Sunday afternoon.

The Red Cross provided financial assistance totaling almost $11,000 to the affected residents.  The money is meant to provide lodging, food, clothing, and to meet any other needs that arise as a result of the fires.”We give our clients a start on their road to recovery,” Renee said. “They are free to spend the money in whatever ways necessary for them to get back on their feet.”

The generosity of donors to the American Red Cross makes such financial assistance possible.  Donors can help families recover from disasters, both big and small,  by logging onto the Red Cross website, or by calling  1-800-RED CROSS. A donation of $10 can be made by texting the words “RED CROSS” to 90999. Red Cross Disaster Relief helps people affected by disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, wildfires and tornadoes, as well as home fires.

The American Red Cross has been working hard to help families protect themselves from home fires through Operation Save-A-Life.  Residents can request a free home inspection, and will receive free smoke alarms if they are needed.  Volunteers install the alarms, and offer helpful fire prevention information.

Residents of Cleveland can call the 24-hour Operation Save-A-Life hotline at 216-361-5535.  Summit County residents can call 330-535-2030. Residents throughout Northeast Ohio can get information by logging onto the local Red Cross website.

Stand with Us, Celebrate Red Cross Giving Day

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The American Red Cross is launching its first Giving Day on June 2, asking everyone in Northeast Ohio to make a donation to the Red Cross at to help ensure that help is available wherever and whenever people need it.

Life can change in one day, leaving someone with nothing – without a home, without their belongings, without hope. For so many of these people, the American Red Cross is the answer. We need the public’s support.

Red Cross Giving Day is a 24-hour national fundraising campaign supporting the work of the Red Cross in communities across the country each and every day. The theme of Giving Day is “All In One Day” because the Red Cross is “all in” every day, helping people to get back on their feet.

On June 2nd, we have 24 hours to turn compassion into action. On this one day, please donate to the Red Cross so we can be there to help people in need.

To take part in Giving Day and support the work of the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org/givingday. All in one day, working together, we can bring help and hope to people when they need it most.

Each day in communities across the country and around the world, the Red Cross comforts disaster victims, supplies blood to patients in need, supports members of the military and teaches people lifesaving skills. Nationally, the Red Cross:

  • Responds nearly 200 times a day to help a family affected by a home fire or other disaster.
  • Provides nearly 5,600 blood transfusions a day to patients in need.
  • Gives 15,500 people a day lifesaving health and safety training.
  • Provides nearly 1,000 services a day to military members, their families and veterans.
  • With the help of partners, gives 308,000 children a day measles or rubella vaccinations.