Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster report: February 21-23, 2020

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

February 24, 2020- Despite the sunny and warm weather this weekend, local disasters did not take a break.

During this past weekend, the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio assisted 22 individuals and provided more than $4,500 in immediate financial assistance, as well as providing snacks and beverages for first responders.

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One of the incidents that the Red Cross responded to was a massive fire which occurred Sunday night on Hilliard Boulevard in Rocky River.  The fire, which destroyed residental complex which was under construction,  forced some nearby residents to flee their homes because of their proximity to the fire.

Three residents received immediate financial assistance to help them find shelter Sunday night, when they indicated they had no other place to stay.  Red Cross workers plan to continue contacting affected residents to assess their needs and provide appropriate assistance.

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Five volunteers responded to the fire to distribute blankets, water and snacks to the residents who were unable to return to their homes, and to the firefighters from various communities who responded to the fire.

“We could not help people in need without our volunteers,” said Ben Bellucci, disaster program manager for the Red Cross of Greater Cleveland.  “They are vital to our mission, providing comfort and care when people like the folks in Rocky River need emergency assistance.”

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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.

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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.

 

Home fire experience prompts East Liverpool resident to become Red Cross volunteer

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

February 20, 2020- Imagine coming home after a day of work or shopping for the upcoming holiday season, only to find that your home is on fire. That was the case for one East Liverpool family, following a fire believed to have been caused by the wood burner.

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As he was driving home from work in Canfield on the evening of Dec. 15, 2017, John Pomeroy noticed he received an unusually high number of text messages and missed calls. Being unable to read the messages as he was driving, he decided to return the calls. That is when he heard the unthinkable.

Before John could ask, his daughter Jocelyn picked up the phone and immediately said, “Dad, the house is on fire. This is not a joke.”

After shopping for gifts with her mother, Jocelyn was the first person to discover the fire. As soon as she opened the front door, all she could see was the home filled with smoke. Confusion and fear set in.

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John and Jocelyn Pomeroy

Once John arrived on the scene, he immediately checked on his family to make sure everyone was safe. Then the gravity of the situation began to sink in and he pondered what to do next, as firefighters extinguished the fire.

Prior to the home fire, John and Jocelyn only thought the American Red Cross assisted with large scale disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes. John remembers being amazed by how quickly the Red Cross arrived on the scene and the compassion the Disaster Action Team members showed his family.

One memory Jocelyn has of that evening was being wrapped in a Red Cross blanket, an item she still owns today, and the comfort she received from its warmth and softness.

“It is really helpful to have someone there to help you, give you a blanket and tell you everything will be okay,” said Jocelyn.

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John and Jocelyn with Kristen Gallagher and Karen Conklin

Even though John personally knew Lake to River Chapter Executive Director Karen Conklin and Kristen Gallagher, disaster program specialist, through Ohio high school wrestling, he was comforted by the Red Cross’ commitment to helping his family get back on their feet.

“We are grateful for the Red Cross and all of their hard work to help others in need,” stated John.

While John and his family were fortunate to be able to return to their home following the fire, he never forgot what the Red Cross did for them. John was so inspired by his experience that he signed up to become a Red Cross volunteer during a volunteer information session in East Liverpool.

“Despite so much going through my mind, the Red Cross was there every step of the way,” said John. “As a volunteer, I hope to provide others in need the same comfort and support that we received. I want to help others know everything will be okay.”

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John signing up to become a Red Cross volunteer

Although Jocelyn has to wait until she turns 13, she also is eager to become a Red Cross volunteer. Until then, she is looking forward to the opportunity to apply to be a Summer Youth Corps member this year.

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

Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga County Volunteer Information Sessions

Saturday, Feb. 29

10-11 a.m.

Red Cross Regional Headquarters

3747 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH

Summit, Portage and Media County Volunteer Information Sessions

Saturday, March 1

10-11 a.m.

Red Cross Akron Office

501 W. Market St., Akron, OH

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.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

 

Northeast Ohio Region weekend disaster report: February 14-16, 2020

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

February 17, 2020- During Valentine’s Day weekend, with love in the air in Northeast Ohio, the American Red Cross showed compassion and assistance to local residents who experienced a disaster, such as a home fire.

This past weekend, the Red Cross responded to home fires in Bedford, Cleveland, Killbuck, Vermilion and Wellsville, assisting 19 adults, 14 children and provided more than $7,600 in immediate financial assistance to help residents affected by a local disaster get back on their feet.

In 2014, the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide initiative to reduce the number of fire-related deaths by 25 percent. As of the current date, 715 lives had been saved across the country through the Home Fire Campaign, including 15 in Northeast Ohio.

Hurricane Florence 2018

 

Sound the Alarm is a critical part of the campaign. In just six years, our home visits have accomplished so much, including the installation of more than 2 million smoke alarms.

This year, Sound the Alarm will take place from April 18th to May 3rd.

Unfortunately, the lack of working smoke alarms in a home can lead to tragedy. That was the case for Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter board member Rob Griggs and his family. Watch Rob’s story and hear the reason he has worked to prevent other families from going through a similar pain by ensuring working smoke alarms are placed in homes across Northeast Ohio:

For many of us, a smoke alarm is the one item in our homes that we tend to not notice, but for Jackie and her three children, it alerted them to a home fire while they were sleeping, ultimately saving their lives:

For more information on Sound the Alarm and to sign up to volunteer at a smoke alarm installation event near you, visit SoundTheAlarm.org/NEO.

Red Cross has my heart, on Valentine’s Day and every day

My family’s Red Cross connection and how a blood drive led to lasting love

By Renee Palagyi, Senior Disaster Program Manager

February 14, 2020- Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. Partly because it’s also my birthday but mostly because it’s the time to think about love and caring. In that spirit, here’s my love story.

My dad, Pvt. Charles Fedor, was 19 in the 1940s when his Army battalion was sent to Germany during World War II. He also fought in France before returning safely home. I’m sure he saw horrific things in those years but he never spoke about that time to his children.

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Pvt. Charles Fedor

What my dad did share with his children happened while he was still in basic training at Fort Sill. Sadly, his baby brother Paul died in a car accident and Dad told us how he was “brought home” by the American Red Cross. According to Dad, a Red Cross nurse was with the commanding officer to deliver the tragic news, waited while he packed his belongings and took him to the train station. When he arrived in Conneaut, a Red Cross worker met him at the train station and drove him home.

My quiet, soft-spoken dad, a lifetime blood donor, told his six children that they should all think of ways to give back to the Red Cross.

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Renee with her husband Stan Palagyi

Fast forward to 1969. My mother was working as a “Gray Lady”*  at the local Red Cross bloodmobile and they needed extra help. She called home where I was enjoying my two-week summer vacation from nursing school and “asked” that I come help. I was hooked the minute I arrived. Everyone was friendly and talkative and they were all thanking the blood donors. I couldn’t wait to go back to the next bloodmobile!

I graduated from nursing school in 1971 and made sure I always had the time in my surgical nurse schedule to work the blood drive every other month. Back then, we volunteer nurses were allowed to do more, and I routinely did histories and screening of about half of the 200-plus donors we had every 56 days.

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Renee and Stan’s wedding day

It happened that the January blood drive in 1973 was super busy and I worked the entire eight hours, screening donors and talking with many folks who had been greeted by my mom and her fellow Gray Ladies. What I did not know, was that my loving mother and her cohorts were carefully vetting the donors in search of a beau for me! All women and older men were directed to the other screener while I got all of the “eligible bachelors.” I can only imagine that greeting process, which went far beyond, “Did you read the materials today?” and more into, “So what do you do for a living?” Oh my.

Well, two days later I got a call. “Hi, my name is Stan Palagyi and we met at the bloodmobile. I was wondering if you’d like to see a movie this weekend.” I had absolutely NO IDEA who this person was after seeing so many donors that day. Yet, I was single and, admittedly, desperate for a date. I said “yes.”

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Stan and I were married in December 1973 and are the parents of four children and grandparents of eight. Just this past summer, we welcomed our first great grandchild.

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Renee and Stan Palagyi and their great-grandson

Stan and I are regular blood donors and on occasion have made it to the same blood drive where people enjoy hearing the story of how we met. I know my Type O negative blood is very valuable and I love watching the story of my donation on the Red Cross blood app. I am grateful for the chance to save up to three lives every 56 days. I am super grateful to have found the love of my life while we were both helping others through the Red Cross.

Show you care and give blood to help save a life. To find a blood drive near you, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/find-drive.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

*Gray Ladies were Red Cross volunteers who wore a gray nurse-style uniform, complete with cap.

They worked in hospitals delivering flowers and gifts and sometimes the book cart ( mini lending library). They staffed hospital gift shops and made blankets and stuffed toys to sell there.

They did registrations and snacks at bloodmobiles. During the war, they packed gift boxes for soldiers with handmade socks etc.

In general, they were the non-professional female volunteer corps for many years.

I loved the Gray Ladies! – Renee Palagyi

 

Cancer patients use more blood than those fighting any other disease

“Give Blood to Give Time” partnership with the American Cancer Society launches 

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Northern Ohio Biomedical Services

February 10, 2020- In November 2019, North Canton resident Casey Richards was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma. Richards was 10 weeks pregnant when doctors discovered a mass that doubled in size over one week. She was immediately scheduled for surgery to remove it and a biopsy revealed the mass was cancerous. A few days later, Richards was admitted to University Hospital’s Seidman Cancer Centerto begin chemotherapy.

Winter Blood Need Sign

Richards went through four rounds of inpatient chemotherapy and received several blood and platelet products during her treatment.

“Receiving blood products helped with my extreme fatigue during treatment,” said Casey. “It also helped my levels go up faster, so I not only felt better, but it got me back into the hospital to start my next round of chemo and beat this disease faster.”

Blood Donation at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Megadrive 2017

Richards is now in remission and home with her husband Bobby, and their 2 1/2-year-old daughter Parker. She encourages everyone to donate blood to help patients like her.

“Giving blood helps not just the person receiving it, by helping with their disease, but it truly helps that person’s family and friends as well,” Casey said. “So many people benefit from such a generous donation.”

Bloodmobile Blood Drive Columbia, South Carolina 2018

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers

Warzel Blood Donation Center

3747 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

 

Parma Blood Donation Center

5585 Pearl Rd., Parma

Monday – Thursday: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

 

Summit Blood Donation Center

501 W. Market St., Akron

Sundays, Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tuesdays: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Wednesdays and Thursdays: 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Ashtabula County

Ashtabula

2/12/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Ashtabula Towne Square, 3315 N Ridge Rd E

2/26/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Elks Lake Lodge 208, 3115 Lake Rd W

Austinburg

2/10/2020: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Austinburg Town Hall, 2794 State Route 307 E.

Conneaut

2/14/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Conneaut Public Library, 304 Buffalo Street

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., New Leaf United Methodist Church, 110 Gateway Avenue

Pierpont

2/27/2020: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Williams-Ducro Funeral Home, 1071 State Route 7 North

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Cuyahoga County

Bay Village

2/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library Bay Village Branch, 502 Cahoon Road

Beachwood

2/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Administrative Campus, 25875 Science Park Drive, Building 1

2/21/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Beachwood Community Center, 25451 Fairmount Blvd

Berea

2/24/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Berea Recreation Center, 451 Front St

Brecksville

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Brecksville Community Center, One Community Drive

Broadview Heights

2/17/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Church of the Assumption, 9183 Broadview Rd

Brooklyn

2/20/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Health-Mor, 1 American Road, Suite 1250

Cleveland

2/12/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., MetroHealth Medical Center, 2500 Metrohealth Drive

2/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., 1111 Superior, 1111 Superior

2/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Anthony J Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th Street

2/13/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., James Ford Rhodes High School, 5100 Biddulph

2/13/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Anthony J Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th Street

2/14/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Anthony J Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 East 9th Street

2/18/2020: 6 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Dave McCall Union Hall, 3421 Independence Road

2/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 9500 Euclid Ave.

2/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., 1100 Superior Building, 1100 Superior Avenue

2/18/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dave McCall Union Hall, 3421 Independence Road

2/18/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., CWRU Thwing Hall Ballroom, 11111 Euclid Avenue

2/19/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., CWRU Thwing Hall Ballroom, 11111 Euclid Avenue

2/21/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Miller Tower, 9500 Euclid Avenue

2/22/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 2187 W 14th St

2/22/2020: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Omega Psi Phi, 15435 St. Clair

2/24/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Severance Hall, 11001 Euclid Ave.

2/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cleveland State University Main Classroom, 2121 Euclid Avenue

2/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Lutheran Hospital, 1730 West 25th Street

2/26/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cleveland State University Main Classroom, 2121 Euclid Avenue

2/29/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., University Circle United Methodist Church, University Circle United Methodist Church, 1919 East 107th

Cleveland Heights

2/12/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cleveland Hts Library, 2345 Lee Road

Euclid

2/23/2020: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Our Lady of the Lake Church, 19951 Lakeshore Blvd.

Fairview Park

2/26/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bain Cabin, 21077 North Park Dr

Garfield Heights

2/25/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Marymount Hospital, 12300 McCracken Road

Independence

2/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Independence Community Center, 6363 Selig Drive

Lakewood

2/16/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Lakewood United Methodist Church, 15700 Detroit Rd.

2/24/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lakewood Women’s Club Pavilion, 14532 Lake Ave.

Mayfield Heights

2/11/2020: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive

2/14/2020: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Hillcrest Hospital, 6780 Mayfield Road

Mayfield Village

2/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., The Mayfield Branch Library, 500 SOM Center

2/20/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Mayfield Village Civic Center, 6622 Wilson Mills Rd.

Middleburg Heights

2/28/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Middleburg Hts Comm Center, 16000 Bagley Rd

North Olmsted

2/21/2020: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library North Olmsted Branch, 27403 Lorain Road

North Royalton

2/27/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library North Royalton Branch, 5071 Wallings Rd

Rocky River

2/17/2020: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Rocky River Civic Center, 21016 Hilliard Rd.

2/23/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., St Christopher Catholic Church, 20141 Detroit Rd

Shaker Heights

2/16/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., St Dominic Church, 3455 Norwood Drive

Solon

2/19/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Church of the Resurrection, 32001 Cannon Road

South Euclid

2/13/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Notre Dame College, 1857 S. Green Rd

Strongsville

2/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Strongsville Family Health & Surgery Center, 16761 Southpark Center

2/21/2020: 10:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m., Cuyahoga County Library Strongsville Branch, 18700 Westwood Dr

Westlake

2/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Rd.

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Westlake Recreation Center, 28955 Hilliard Rd.

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Erie County

Huron

2/27/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Huron Public Library, 333 Williams St.

Sandusky

2/12/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Perkins Township Building, 2610 Columbus Ave

2/14/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Firelands Regional Medical Center, 1912 Hayes Ave Sandusky

2/19/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sandusky High School, 2130 Hayes Ave

2/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Holy Angels Catholic Church, 428 Tiffin Ave

2/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Firelands Regional Medical Center, 1912 Hayes Ave Sandusky

Vermilion

2/13/2020: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Vermilion High School, 1250 Sanford St.

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Geauga County

Chagrin Falls

2/13/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bainbridge Town Hall, 17826 Chillicothe Rd

Chardon

2/21/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Munson Town Hall, 12210 Auburn Rd.

Chesterland

2/26/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Mayfield Church, 7747 Mayfield Rd.

Middlefield

2/27/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Middlefield Library, 16167 East High

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Huron County

Bellevue

2/27/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Bellevue Hospital, 1400 W. Main St.

Collins

2/15/2020: 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, 4290 Hartland Center Rd

New London

2/13/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Eagles, 29 West Fir Street

Norwalk

2/17/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 60 West Main St.

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Lake County

Eastlake

2/18/2020: 2:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, 35980 Lakeshore Blvd.

Kirtland

2/20/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Kirtland Community Center, 7900 Euclid-Chardon Rd.

Mentor

2/14/2020: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Great Lakes Mall, 7850 Mentor Ave.

2/14/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Pilgrim Lutheran Brethren Church, 9514 Johnnycake Ridge Rd.

2/18/2020: 3 p.m. – 8 p.m., Bellflower Elementary – Paradigm Building, 6477 Center St.

2/24/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St John Vianney Church, 7575 Bellflower Rd.

2/26/2020: 12 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Mentor Civic Arena, 8600 Munson Rd.

2/28/2020: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Pinegate Community Clubhouse, 6301 Gatewood Dr.

Painesville

2/16/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Painesville United Methodist, 71 North Park Place

2/17/2020: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Quail Hollow Country Club, 11295 Quail Hollow Drive

2/25/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Morley Library, 184 Phelps Street

2/28/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Lake County YMCA Central Branch, 933 Mentor Ave.

Wickliffe

2/26/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Wickliffe Community Center, 900 Worden Road

2/27/2020: 2 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Wickliffe Public Library, 1713 Lincoln Rd.

Willoughby

2/28/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Willoughby Fire Dept, 37000 Euclid Ave.

Willoughby Hills

2/23/2020: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., St Noel Church, 35200 Chardon Rd.

2/28/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center Willoughby Hills, 2550 SOM Center Rd.

Willowick

2/23/2020: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., St Mary Magdalene Church, 32114 Vine St

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Lorain County

Avon

2/25/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Richard E. Jacobs Health Campus, 33100 Cleveland Clinic Blvd.

Columbia Station

2/22/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Paramount Dog Training, 27100 Royalton Road

Lorain

2/13/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Horizon Science Academy, 760 Tower Blvd

North Ridgeville

2/20/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Kemper Science and Engineering, 37501 Center Ridge Road

Oberlin

2/12/2020: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Shanks Health and Wellness Center, 200 Woodland St.

Sheffield Village

2/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ohio Business College, 5095 Waterford Dr

How to donate blood

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

Cold weather safety tips – especially for seniors

By Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross volunteer

February 7, 2020- Surviving winter weather here in Northeast Ohio takes more than just praying for spring (and hoping the groundhog’s prediction is right this year). It can be especially dangerous for the elderly. So if you are a boomer, or you have parents that are, here’s a ‘Do’ and a ‘Don’t’ deserving some serious consideration.

Snow shoveling

Don’t. (If that’s not an option, continue reading.)

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Consider rock salt or other chemical deicer pellets. Let that do the work instead of you.

If you must go out to shovel, stretch your arms and legs for a few minutes before going outside. Warm muscles work better and are less likely to cause problems.

Wear sturdy shoes or boots with good, non-slip soles. Old tennis shoes with no tread can be extremely slippery on ice. Wear a warm hat and gloves.

Use a sturdy, but lightweight shovel, and push rather than lifting if possible. If lifting is necessary, do it in small loads. If the snow is extremely heavy or wet, and you’ve had back problems, flex your knees while lifting instead of using your back muscles.

Have a friend or spouse check on you every couple minutes. If you should slip and fall, they can call 911 if needed. Even if you had your cellphone in your pocket, if you were to hit your head on the sidewalk, you could freeze before regaining consciousness.

Keeping warm inside

Do. Staying inside with a warm heat source is the best way to conquer winter weather, but all heat sources are not equal.

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Never use your kitchen stove for additional heat.

Never burn anything in a fireplace or Franklin stove that is not properly vented. Make sure the flue is open and the chimney is unobstructed.

Keep all flammable materials away from the hearth area of your fireplace, especially draperies that might blow around the flames.

Only use UL-rated portable electric heaters and only use one per electrical circuit.

Never leave the electric heaters on at night or when you leave the room. Make sure the cords are not a tripping hazard.  Make sure pets can’t tip them over.

Check outside vents of heaters, water heaters, clothes dryers and furnaces to make sure they are not blocked by snow.

Install and check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms regularly. If you need smoke alarms in your home, we can help. Call your local Red Cross chapter and get put on a list for free installation.

Consider donating to the American Red Cross

On average, the Red Cross responds to a home fire every eight seconds – many in the wintertime. For many people, we are the first organization to bring them financial help and ongoing assistance as they try to recover. It’s only with financial donations from people like you that we can offer this emergency assistance. Please consider donating, and keep warm!

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Red Cross celebrates Black History Month

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

February 6, 2020- February is Black History Month and the American Red Cross is celebrating by paying tribute to the men and women who played a pivotal role in shaping the organization.

Here are some of the humanitarians who helped shape the Red Cross:

Steve Bullock – Serving Where the Need is Greatest

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Steve Bullock began his career with the Red Cross in 1962, working as a caseworker. His work took him and his family to military posts throughout the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Twenty years later, he became the Chief Executive Officer and Chapter Manager of the Greater Cleveland Chapter.

Bullock culminated his career at the American Red Cross in 1999, when he was named acting president of the national agency in Washington, DC. He took on the role leading the organization after the resignation of Elizabeth Dole, who recommended him for the post. While serving as acting president, he headed a team of staff members and news media who brought 60,000 pounds of relief supplies to Macedonia to aid nearly 140,000 ethnic Albanian refugees driven from their homes in Kosovo.

Read our previous blog article to learn more about Steve Bullock and his impact on the Greater Cleveland Chapter.

Frederick Douglass – An Influential Ally in Founding the American Red Cross

Frederick Douglass

A leading spokesman of African Americans in the 1800s and friend of Clara Barton, Mr. Douglass offered encouragement when Clara Barton sought advice and support in her efforts to gain U.S. acceptance as a member nation of the global Red Cross network. Douglass’ name is on an appeal for funds after the 1882 Mississippi flood. He also, in his capacity as Register of Deeds for the District of Columbia, signed the original Articles of Incorporation for the American Red Cross when they were submitted to the municipal authorities. The articles legally documented the creation of the American Red Cross.

Gwen T. Jackson – A Dedicated Volunteer Leader Across Decades

Gwen Jackson

Gwen T. Jackson began volunteering with her local Red Cross chapter in 1961, and by 1989 she was the first African American to be appointed as the National Chairman of Volunteers for the American Red Cross. During her tenure, she implemented the results of the Volunteer 2000 Study, completed in 1988 to study the downturn in volunteerism and provide a blueprint for future growth.

While serving with the Red Cross, Jackson provided assistance during major disasters such as Hurricane Hugo and support during the Persian Gulf War. She later became a member of the American National Red Cross Board of Governors in 1992 and was re-elected for a second term in 1995. Jackson was presented with the Cynthia Wedel Award, an award given to outstanding Red Cross volunteers, for her 50 years of dedication and volunteer leadership in 2003. She currently holds an appointment as Chair Emeritus of the American Red Cross Milwaukee Chapter.

These leaders represent the Red Cross’ commitment to diversity and inclusion, to help deliver the mission of the Red Cross and to represent the communities we serve. We look forward to seeing the future leaders who will continue the legacy  of these great humanitarians and lead the Red Cross to great achievements.