Needed: Donors of all Blood Types to Help Maintain a Diverse Blood Supply

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help ensure a sufficient and diverse blood supply by giving blood this February.

Since the beginning of the year, widespread flu and inclement winter weather in some parts of the country have prevented many regular donors from making or keeping their blood donation appointments. Healthy and diverse blood donors are needed to help maintain a sufficient blood supply.

Diversity among blood donors is important because red blood cells carry markers that determine one’s blood type, and certain blood types are unique to specific racial and ethnic groups. Blood must be matched very closely for those patients with rare blood types or for those who need repeated transfusions. Patients are less likely to have complications from blood donated by someone with a similar ethnicity.

All blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative. To learn more about donating blood and to schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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Red Cross Helping 76 People After Holiday Week Home Fires

Trained American Red Cross responders are spending their holiday week comforting 76 neighbors in need following 21 fires across Wisconsin since December 24th.

Responses include seven in 24-hours including Green Bay, Markesan, Wausaukee and four in Milwaukee. Red Cross responders will meet with each family to discuss emergency needs such as a food, shelter, clothing, health needs and emotional support along with a recovery plan. Since Christmas eve, local workers, led by a team of dedicated volunteers, are also helping families in Racine, Marshfield, Black River Falls, Suamico, Oshkosh, Pine River, Frederic, Appleton, West Allis, Adams, Kewaunee and Irma.

The number of home fires increases during cold, winter months. To prevent fires, the Red Cross recommends following home fire safety tips. Fire safety tips, as well as numerous other resources, are also available on the free Red Cross First Aid App.

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To become a Red Cross volunteer in your community, visit redcross.org/volunteer. People can help those affected by fire and other disasters by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Financial gifts enable the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit redcross.org/donate to make a secure online donation or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Follow us on our new statewide twitter account for updates! @redcrosswis

Red Cross Kicks Off New Campaign To Reduce Home Fire Deaths and Injuries

American Red Cross Wisconsin Region:

That stats are staggering and we challenge you to help us succeed in reducing deaths and injuries by joining the home fires campaign and get prepared.

Originally posted on American Red Cross SE WI Blog:

Efforts will include installing smoke alarms and urging people to practice fire escape plans

10710893_10152718411990071_1668250310886687572_nThe American Red Cross announced today a new campaign throughout Wisconsin and across the country to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross campaign focuses on joining fire departments and community groups nationwide to install smoke alarms in communities with high numbers of fires and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

The Red Cross will begin with canvassing the Thurston Woods neighborhood in Milwaukee and Stevens Point on Saturday morning, October 11th. The Beloit community canvassing will…

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Success at Club Red of NEW Kick-off event!

Club Red of NEW Executive Board (L-R): Erin Thayse, Jennesa Heiting, advisor Jody Weyers, Jenny Haas and PaKou Lee.

What a great start for Club Red of NEW! We had roughly 30 guests attend. The night started off with socializing and networking. We also had great catering services from The Marq which included delicious tomato soup shooters, barbecue meatballs, cheese spread with crackers and pita chips plus more. We heard the barbecue meatballs were a hit!

ypMike Gallagher, Chairman of the Board for the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter, spoke a few words of support for the club and introduced exec member, Jenny Haas. Jenny did a great job of presenting Club Red’s mission, purpose, benefits and requirements. Jody Weyers, club advisor, also shared an inspiring quote from a new book she received that day.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

We also gave Jenny a surprise birthday cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. Luckily for her, she did not get caked. Rob Anthony was the entertainment of the night. The weather was so beautiful, he played outside on the patio for us. We continued the night with exec member PaKou choosing the lucky winners of the raffle drawings and Erin, Jennesa and Jenny reading off the winning tickets. Many of our guests took home awesome prizes that included salon services, a variety of great wine bottles, cookbooks, Packers and Brewers items and more! Guests also went home with swag bags filled with Red Cross post-it notes, disaster and emergency plans, new volunteer application instructions and a Club Red calendar of events.

To view photos from the event, click here.

How to Join:

To join Club Red of NEW please register in the American Red Cross Database system: Volunteer Connection.

Instructions:

  1. Register at Volunteer Connection as a new volunteer.
  2. Go to: http://www.redcross.org/newisconsin
  3. Click on “Volunteer” on the left-hand side of the screen.
  4. Click on “Apply to Volunteer”
  5. Choose the appropriate application: Adult (25+), or Young Adult (18-24)
  6. Complete and application and click “submit.”
  7. Check your email inbox for a welcome message as a prospective new volunteer. You will be asked to click a link, which will take you to your “Volunteer Connection” profile page. Once you successfully access your account, you will be asked to complete a series of steps to complete the registration process.

If you have trouble registering or questions, please contact Volunteer Director, Jody Weyers at 920-227-4287 or jody.weyers@redcross.org.If you are already a Red Cross volunteer, please let Jody know you are interested in joining and she will add you to the Club Red group in Volunteer Connection.

20140925_172556First Club Red Meeting:
Our first club meeting will be on Wednesday, October 29th at 5:30p.m. in Green Bay*. Place of meeting is TBD. We will be discussing:

  • Upcoming events
  • Leadership/mentor and networking opportunities
  • What you expect to get out of Club Red
  • Volunteer Connection navigation

*Please note that our meeting locations will rotate between the Green Bay and Appleton area so others can attend.

Special thanks to:

 

Thank you to everyone who attended the event! We had a great turn out!

Give. Guide. Provide.

Let’s give a warm welcome to Michelle Lippart!

DSC03950We are delighted Michelle Lippart has joined our team as a Major Gifts Officer! She will have her hands full as we are responding to disasters multiple times a week, supporting our military members stateside and abroad, training thousands and saving hundreds of lives with the gift of life!

Making friends in Jamaica

Making friends in Jamaica.

Ah, but she isn’t afraid of a challenge or to getting her hands dirty! Twice this past year, she traveled to remote areas of Jamaica and Panama to build water systems and even roads. Her passion for the volunteering brought her professional skills to us. As she says, “the non-profit world is close to my heart. So ‘why not’ make it my work too.”

While recently employed at Ripon College she raised $4 million dollars! She will focus on the greater Fox Valley philanthropic efforts and co-lead the Major Gifts Committee with Pat Exarhos. Her goals for the year include building relationships, generating partnerships and raising funds to support local initiatives and national disasters.

Michelle graduated from UW-Oshkosh and earned a master’s degree at Marian University. While she grew-up in Markesan she now resides in Neenah.

Building a dam in Panama

Michelle working hard at building a dam in Panama. How cool is that?!

Back to School Reminder to Secure Your Devices and Protect Personal Information

It’s that time of year again – school is back in session and many children will take with them personal devices such as smart phones, laptops and tablets. These devices have become indispensable tools in education and communication but they also contain some risk if not used properly and securely. 1408547565377

Since these devices commonly have personal information on them, it is important to follow good safety practices to protect these devices. Please review these tips and share them with your family to promote the secure use of personal devices.

Back To School Tips for Device Owners:
  • Use password protection on all personal devices such as iPads, iPods, tablets, laptops, and smart phones.
  • Never leave your personal device unattended, especially in public areas.
  • Do not share passwords with friends that could give them access to your personal information and social network accounts (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook).
  • Avoid saving or sending unflattering or personal pictures of yourself or someone else on your personal devices. Once on the internet, these will live on indefinitely.
  • If using someone else’s computer or personal device make sure you log off of all of your social networking accounts when finished and always respect their privacy as well.
  • Familiarize yourself with and enable applications for locating lost or stolen devices, like Apple Find My iPhone and Google Device Manager. If your personal device is stolen, report it to your local police department. Other apps, like LoJack and GadgetTrak, are also available on the third party market to assist with device location.

Packer 5k- an Interns point of view

by: Cassie DeClerc

Where do I even start when it comes to the Packer 5k?! This was my first experience organizing a large group of volunteers and I learned a lot from it!

Packer 5k When we first posted on here, Facebook, twitter and sent emails out notifying our great volunteers that the American Red Cross would once again be a charity partner with the Packer 5k and that we were looking for volunteers I was a bit overwhelmed. Our amazing community quickly pulled together and sent emails in quicker than I could read them. While it was wonderful to see people volunteer to donate their time, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to be able to organize and contact every single person! Along with the simple challenge of replying to everyone, came the challenge of getting all of the correct information. Some emails came in without shirt sizes, or what area they wanted to work, or even missing the names of individuals which required an extra step of communication which proved to be more fun that I anticipated.

But, through the emails I feel that I got the amazing opportunity to connect with the volunteers. Email made is seem like I was pen pals with 150+ people with some of the biggest hearts I have ever met. With the help of a computer screen and keyboard I was introduced to groups of work friends, people that were long time friends, first time volunteers and volunteers with years of experience, couples, singles, and even families that came together to make a difference and put their community first. Who would ever guess that 150+ strangers could feel like family so quickly!?

As race day neared, I remember being a bit stressed about finding volunteers to fill our open spots on course corners and at the water station. We sent out a social media reminder that we were still looking for volunteers and got 1 response. ONE RESPONSE! I think I had a bit of a panic attack thinking there was no way I would ever fill the positions and because of that it would all be a failure.  (I even had a dream one night of an empty water station with angry thirsty runners!) Jody then reminded me that we had time and we usually end up with just the right number! Our volunteers are certainly awesome like that and come race day we had all spots covered!

packet stuffNow on to the truly fun and interesting stuff! Goodie bag stuffing was a blast! I loved getting to see the faces behind all of the emails I sent and getting to know some of the volunteers better. We had 2 amazing teams that worked so well we were done early! I cannot say enough about the volunteers at Goodie Bag stuffing. They stuffed bags and folded over 8,000 tshirts! My absolute favorite part of Goodie Bag stuffing was the DePere Baseball team that brought their A game and  helped us all remember what it’s like to be a kid at Lambeau Field!

water stationAfter a day of rest and recovery we were ready for race day! We started our day at 2pm with packet pick up! We got an awesome picture together (no selfie here, just a normal picture! =]) and then got to send them on their way! We then had a little break before we had to get our course corners and water station ready to go! So Jody and I did what every good runner would do and got prepared for the race! And by that, I mean we got Cold Stone! We had to make sure our sugar was up so we could last through the race!

Our Pre-Race Warm up (or cool down I guess!)

Our Pre-Race Warm up (or cool down I guess!)

We finally met up with our water station, course corner and medal hand out volunteers! All such wonderful people! In a few short hours these amazing people managed to hand out water, medals and cheer on over 7,000 runners!

This was such an amazing experience in my book. I cannot wait to work with awesome volunteers on events like this in the future!

 

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