Volunteer of the Month – Larry Griffin

Larry Griffin 2

Congratulations, to Larry Griffin on being named the September 2015 American Red Cross Volunteer of the Month!

When Larry retired in 2012, he along with his wife Pat decided that volunteering for the Red Cross Disaster Cycle Service (DSC) efforts would be worthwhile. Larry stated, “I now realize, more and more, the many facets in which the Red Cross is active, preparing to prevent misfortunes, is as important as responding to disasters, is as important as providing ways to recover from a loss.”

The Red Cross is so thrilled to have volunteers like Larry. “Larry is always not only willing to help but expresses gratitude when called out to a disaster site,” says Jenny Legaspi, Red Cross Disaster Program Manager. As a Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteer he shows a high level of commitment. “Larry consistently signs-up for DAT response shifts. Even when not on-call, he is happy to assist with a response whenever he is available,” states Luong Huynh, Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist.

As a Red Cross volunteer, Larry serves as a DAT member, helping people during times of disaster.  “We help people who experience a sudden misfortune due to fire, storm or other unexpected cause,” Larry states. Larry enjoys providing comfort to clients and working professionally with first responders to ensure community members are supported during times of disaster. “He’s the guy that I would want to come and help me!” notes Barbara Behling.

Larry is also making significant contributes to the Red Cross Preparedness Programs while volunteering with the Home Fire Prevention Campaign. This Campaign involves Red Cross volunteers joining with local fire departments and community groups to visit neighborhoods at high risk for fires. Visits include educating people about fire safety, creating safety plans and installing free smoke alarms in homes. View this link to see Larry and other Red Cross DAT team members in action!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WI5DfmVYIIc

“When volunteering with the Home Fire Preparedness Program, Larry has become my go-to Documenter and Reporter Lead. His reporting is accurate and I can always count on him to train new volunteers in the role,” Luong Huynh DPS.  Over the last six months, Larry devotion has been evident as he has now volunteered at five separate Home Fire Preparedness events and helped to install sixty-four smoke alarms in homes. “I take satisfaction in possibly preventing a house fire and saving a life,” Larry state

Larry’s humble response when asked of this honor was simple, “Really my efforts have not been any greater than that of other Red Cross members. Anyone who becomes involved with the Red Cross will feel the same way!” Thank you, Larry, for making a real difference in your community and the Red Cross!

Join us! Volunteer like Larry and help your neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Contact the Red Cross to get trained.

To learn more, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact the office of Volunteer Resources at volunteerwisconsin@redcross.org.

You Still Have Time to #ChooseYourDay and Donate Blood!

By: Patty Flowers, CEO of Wisconsin American Red Cross

As summer begins to wind down, consider making time to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross. #ChooseYourDay to help save lives and make an appointment this Labor Day weekend. All presenting donors who give blood between September 5-7 will receive a limited-edition t-shirt, while supplies last! Patty’s story shows how you can make a difference in the lives of hospital patients and their families with this free and lifesaving gift.

“You want me in the delivery room with you?” I exclaimed!  Of course, it took me just two seconds to say ‘yes’ to my daughter when she was getting ready to deliver her first child at age 39. This little boy was our miracle baby as she had been told she most likely would never be able to become pregnant. As I’ve heard so many times before, once the stress of getting pregnant goes away, often a little one joins us. True for our family and I was so honored to be asked to be a part of this miracle that was unfolding before us.

On July 22, 2015, I was sitting with her at the registration desk at the hospital and then back in the labor and delivery department when the nurse asked if she would accept blood transfusions if needed. The question actually took me off guard because I hadn’t thought of her actually needing blood, but I blurted out “is it Red Cross blood”?  The nurse looked at me as if she’d never been asked that question before and then said “I’ve never been asked that before”. My daughter threw me a look like really Mom?, but she tolerated me asking. The nurse had to check to see who this hospital’s blood supplier was and when she came back in our room to tell me that indeed it would be Red Cross blood, I was very satisfied. Why?  Well, I know the rigorous testing and regulations that have to be followed by blood collections and I know how safe Red Cross blood is. Sitting in that hospital with my daughter, knowing she was in very good hands and that she had Red Cross blood waiting in case she needed it was quite comforting to me.

FullSizeRender (5)Michael Robert joined us at 1:06 PM on July 23, 2015 with a full head of black hair. Of course I think he’s the cutest, best baby, and I know I’m biased, but he really is! His delivery was not an easy one but my daughter never did need any blood. I am so grateful for the donors who had given those pints of blood that were waiting for her in case she needed it – it means as much to me as if she had been transfused.

I donate blood as often as I can through one of our Red Cross blood drives and I hope you will too. Knowing that one pint of my blood can save up to three lives is a very powerful reason to make me take the hour I need to plan for a donation, but now I equate it to that moment when my daughter might have needed someone else’s blood to help her. It’s personal, it’s powerful, and we need more people to decide that it’s an easy way to help someone else. Please consider donating your blood and we make it so easy to do it! Go to www.redcrossblood.org and find a drive near you or even simpler, download the Red Cross Blood app on your smart phone and you can register for a drive even faster.

100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.

Canada’s Wildfire Relief Efforts Supported by Hometown Gal

The Canadian and the American Red Cross joined forces to support 10,000 Saskatchewan wildfire evacuees, this Brenda’s story.

By Brenda Haney, American Red Cross Volunteer

On July 7, 2015 the Red Cross asked if I would represent the U.S. on an International Deployment to Canada. I agreed to go although I had only been home for a week from a deployment in Louisiana.

Diana O’Neill and I left Madison and flew to Edmonton, Alberta on July 8th. We made it through Customs and travelled five hours by bus to Cold Lake, Alberta. Once there we assisted with a shelter with approximately 600 people of several different native Canadian Bands.

Due to the large number of evacuations they were loaded on buses with only the clothes on their backs and bused six hours from Saskatchewan to Cold Lake, Alberta.  The City of Cold Lake opened up one of their buildings to accommodate the people coming in. There were many challenges dealing with this many people and the different cultures.

After two days Diana and I were promoted to shelter managers. We worked 12 hour shifts, both day and night. We were warmly welcomed by our counterparts with the Canadian Red Cross. We worked closely with the government officials to ensure a safe shelter operation.

There were several health issues that required the use of hotels and campgrounds as alternate shelters.

On the 11th day of our deployment we were given the “all clear” to start sending people home. In just two days we had everyone accounted for and on their way back home to Saskatchewan.

The tear down began and the massive task of tearing down cots began. We loaded all the cots in semis and hired a cleaning company to clean and sterilize everything.

It is time to take a break as this was my 5th deployment of 2015. Deployment number three was a driving trip to Texas. Diana and I drove over 4,000 miles roundtrip in the Emergency Relief Vehicle going from Madison to San Marcos, TX to assist with flooding.

I am thankful for the wonderful people I have met on these Red Cross deployments. I am happy that I have been able to help people in their time of need.

A collection of our 1st International Deployment memorabilia will be displayed at the Madison Red Cross Office.

To begin your American Red Cross adventure, please visit redcross.org/volunteer

We Need a Hero!

We’re holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night!

Not all heroes wear capes
The American Red Cross of Wisconsin is now accepting nominations for 2016 Hero Award recipients.  Each year, the American Red Cross recognizes everyday heroes in our community at three events in Wisconsin: the Evening of Heroes in Wisconsin Dells, the Heroes Breakfast in Altoona and Brave Hearts: Heroes Among Us in Milwaukee.   Nominations for recognition for the spring 2016 events are open until December.

Whether they’re stepping up during a medical emergency to provide assistance or helping others through a lifetime of volunteerism, heroes reflect what is best about our community. They also inspire others to follow their example.

Heroes abound everywhere we look at the Red Cross. Our heroes are there to help a family who just lost their home in a fire—any time of the day or night. Our heroes teach the community lifesaving CPR and first aid skills to respond in an emergency. Our heroes spend a lifetime donating blood and recruiting others to donate in order to save patient lives.

Do you know an everyday hero who deserves recognition?  Then submit them for recognition at one of our three hero events across the state! Details and categories vary by event.  For more information:

Or contact: Megan Bessett at megan.bessett@redcross.org or (608) 232-5832.

Photo-Hero Trumpet player

A Work of Heart

*Permission to republish by StateFarm.com. (Originanly published on http://goodneighbors.com/post/126421892122/heart)

A Work of Heart We all know that nursing isn’t easy. But, seeing patients recover and thrive makes it all worth it. Most people may not remember or connect with their doctors or other staff like they do a nurse or Certified Nursing Assistant. Because let’s face it, they are the heart of healthcare. The empathy and care they provide to patients helps encourage strength and recovery. It takes special people to see people at their worst, most difficult time and support them on their course to getting healthy and enjoying a great quality of life. [[MORE]] The job opportunities also provide a great quality of life for those who purse these careers. Christopher Strickland, a 52 year-old father, who was laid off as a cook at a local pub, realized this job path could create stability and help him earn a better income. He was experiencing difficulty finding steady employment and wanted to work in a field where there’s a need. It was happenstance that he came across an ad in the newspaper about the Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program and the chance to receive a scholarship to complete the training. He decided to apply and was awarded a State Farm® scholarship to achieve his goals. Christopher quickly realized through his training that nursing was the right fit for this next step in his career journey. His charisma and sense of humor went over famously with the residents at a nursing home where students perform their clinicals. Residents developed meaningful relationships with Christopher, and it helped them feel comfortable being in their most vulnerable state. As Christopher shared excitement for his new opportunity, his son, Ali, took notice that nursing is a field that will always have a need for qualified individuals. Ali, a 23 year-old young man didn’t have a job at the time and wanted to find something that would provide a decent salary. He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, applied and was awarded a State Farm scholarship to complete his training. NAT Coordinator Tanya Christensen shared, “Nursing has always been a field dominated by women, but more patients are wanting to have a choice as to whether a man or woman takes care of them. In addition, people who are further along in their careers are realizing nursing could be a great next career step since the healthcare sector continues to add jobs and that the unemployment rate is low. With all these reasons, why wouldn’t someone pursue this rewarding career path.” Lucikly, there’s still time to apply for scholarships and participate in training sessions provided by the Red Cross. Day and evening classes are taking place in Green Bay, La Crosse and Waupaca. Check out the Red Cross NAT website for more details!

We all know that nursing isn’t easy. But, seeing patients recover and thrive makes it all worth it. Most people may not remember or connect with their doctors or other staff like they do a nurse or Certified Nursing Assistant. Because let’s face it, they are the heart of healthcare. The empathy and care they provide to patients helps encourage strength and recovery. It takes special people to see people at their worst, most difficult time and support them on their course to getting healthy and enjoying a great quality of life.

The job opportunities also provide a great quality of life for those who purse these careers. Christopher Strickland, a 52 year-old father, who was laid off as a cook at a local pub, realized this job path could create stability and help him earn a better income. He was experiencing difficulty finding steady employment and wanted to work in a field where there’s a need. It was happenstance that he came across an ad in the newspaper about the Red Cross Nurse Assistant Training (NAT) program and the chance to receive a scholarship to complete the training. He decided to apply and was awarded a State Farm® scholarship to achieve his goals.

Christopher quickly realized through his training that nursing was the right fit for this next step in his career journey. His charisma and sense of humor went over famously with the residents at a nursing home where students perform their clinicals. Residents developed meaningful relationships with Christopher, and it helped them feel comfortable being in their most vulnerable state.

father and son

As Christopher shared excitement for his new opportunity, his son, Ali, took notice that nursing is a field that will always have a need for qualified individuals. Ali, a 23 year-old young man didn’t have a job at the time and wanted to find something that would provide a decent salary. He decided to follow in his father’s footsteps, applied and was awarded a State Farm scholarship to complete his training.

ali just graduated

NAT Coordinator Tanya Christensen shared, “Nursing has always been a field dominated by women, but more patients are wanting to have a choice as to whether a man or woman takes care of them. In addition, people who are further along in their careers are realizing nursing could be a great next career step since the healthcare sector continues to add jobs and that the unemployment rate is low. With all these reasons, why wouldn’t someone pursue this rewarding career path.”

Lucikly, there’s still time to apply for scholarships and participate in training sessions provided by the Red Cross. Day and evening classes are taking place in Green Bay, La Crosse and Waupaca. Check out the Red Cross NAT website for more details!

Are You AED Prepared?

DO YOU…

Know what AED stands for?

Know the purpose of having an AED?

AED stands for…

Automated External Defibrillator

It is a medical device that analyzes the heart’s rhythm.

If necessary, it delivers an electrical shock, known as defibrillation, which helps the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

Timing is Crucial.

8-12 minutes: the average response time for first responders once 911 is called.

1 minute of delayed defibrillation = 10% decrease of survival rate

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3 Easy Steps to Save a Life

  1. Be Red Cross Ready- Get the training you need to use an AED and how to respond in emergency situations. With the proper training and knowledge, potentially 50,000 lives can be saved per year.
  2. Contact Terry Roe if you would like to purchase an AED (email: Terry.Roe@redcross.org or phone# 715-590-4495 ). There are 4 different AED options to choose from.
  3. Be Inspired- Watch this incredible and touching story about how 2 UW Health nurses were able to save a woman’s life by using the AED, brought to you by WKOW 27 in Madison, WI.

WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Screen shot 2015-08-13 at 10.45.36 PMScreen shot 2015-08-13 at 10.48.00 PM

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Restock the Shelves – Blood Donations Still in Need for this Summer

With the kiddos heading back to school in some areas and vacation tans starting to fade, it may feel like summer is beginning to wind down. For the American Red Cross, though, summer isn’t over yet, and it still needs blood and platelet donations to help ensure a sufficient blood supply throughout August.

IMG_4042Platelet donors and those with types AB, O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed to help restock Red Cross shelves and prevent an emergency shortage. Donors are encouraged to download the free Blood Donor App to schedule a convenient appointment and keep abreast of current blood supply needs. The app even notifies donors when their donation is distributed to a hospital.

If you gave earlier this summer, you might be eligible to give again. For those who have been meaning to donate, but haven’t gotten around to it, please don’t put it off until some other time.

How important is it to donate this month? From June through August, on average, about two fewer donors schedule an appointment at Red Cross blood drives than what is needed for patients. That can add up to more than 100,000 fewer donations during the summer. Your donation counts more than you might think.

If you are unable to give blood, you can still support the Red Cross by signing up to host a blood drive, volunteering your time, asking others to donate or creating a SleevesUp virtual blood drive.

Every day this summer is a chance to help save lives. Make an appointment to help #RestockTheShelves by downloading the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

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